Half a billion Facebook users’ phone numbers leaked

Facebook is facing an extensive data breach of around 533 million user records. The data includes names, phone numbers, dates of birth, marital status, and email addresses. Around 32 million US and 11 million UK users are affected.

The full extent of the leak and whether it applies just to Facebook or extends also to other Facebook services like WhatsApp and Instagram is not yet known.

The leaked data could be exploited by cybercriminals who use personal information to defraud, said Alon Gal, CTO of the cybercrime intelligence company Hudson Rock.

Gal first discovered the data released in January when a user of the a hacking forum announced an automated bot that could provide phone numbers to hundreds of millions of Facebook users in exchange for a price.

Facebook had previously promised a crack down on how it handles and exposes data after Cambridge Analytica extracted data of some 80 million Facebook users to target voters with political ads in the 2016 UK brexit campaign and US election.

Troy Hunt of haveibeenpwned.com is reported to be working on a way to check if you are affected.