Facebook private messages of over 81,000 users being sold online: Report

Facebook has blamed third-party browser extensions for this latest breach in users’ privacy.

  • Published: November 3, 2018 11:37 AM IST

Facebook can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to keeping its users’ data safe. Just recently, it was reported that the social network was hacked compromising around 30 million accounts. Now, another report has surfaced online claiming that private messages of 81,000 users are being sold on the internet.

As per a damning BBC report, private Facebook messages of nearly 81,000 users are being sold on the internet for as low as $0.10 (Rs 7 approximately). Many of the affected users hail from Ukraine and Russia, but there is evidence of users in the UK, US, and Brazil also being affected. The hackers claimed to have access to 120 million accounts, but only around 81,000 seemed genuine.

Unlike the September hack though, this time Facebook isn’t really to be blamed. The latest breach is said to be a consequence of malicious third-party browser extensions. There is however no word on which exact extensions are the culprits.

Facebook, on its part, has reached out to browser companies asking them to remove such extensions from their stores. Hence it is strongly advised that our readers check what extensions are installed on their browsers.

In an emailed statement to various publications, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management wrote, “Based on our investigation so far, we believe this information was obtained through malicious browser extensions installed off of Facebook.”

He added, “We have contacted browser makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores and to share information that could help identify additional extensions that may be related. We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts.”

“We encourage people to check the browser extensions they’ve installed and remove any that they don’t fully trust. As we continue to investigate, we will take action to secure people’s accounts as appropriate.”

  • Published Date: November 3, 2018 11:37 AM IST