If you are a Facebook user, chances are that a Telegram bot is selling your phone number, according to Motherboard. The person who runs the bot claims to have the information of 533 million users according to the security researcher who found the vulnerability, Alon Gal.
In early 2020 a vulnerability that enabled seeing the phone number linked to every Facebook account was exploited, creating a database containing the information 533m users across all countries.
It was severely under-reported and today the database became much more worrisome 1/2 pic.twitter.com/ryQ5HuF1Cm
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) January 14, 2021
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The data reportedly came from a Facebook vulnerability that it patched in 2019. According to Gal, The bot has been active since at least 12th January 2021.
The numbers could be very useful to potential buyers as most users don’t change their phone numbers that often. Facebook traditionally collects phone numbers of its users, including those who use two-factor authentication, making this leak more embarrassing.
It is still unknown if Facebook has reached Telegram to take the bot down but that would likely happen soon. However, the key issue is that the numbers are out there and will continue to be on the dark web. This information will be available to members of the internet underworld and still be accurate until maybe forces its users to change their phone numbers. the possibility of that itself happening is very slim too.
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