On April 3, 2021, the news of the information leak from more than 533 million Facebook accounts traveled the world. And it is that it was not only about this social network, users of other networks were also affected, which favored cyber attackers to obtain personal data of their victims such as telephone numbers, location, contacts, important dates, marital status, photographs, among others.
According to ESET, a computer security laboratory, according to information on the geographical location, data belonging to more than 10 million users in Spain make up the list of those affected, while in the Latin American region there are almost 18 million users of countries like Colombia and Mexico.
The phone numbers are believed to have been obtained from Facebook in 2019 after malicious actors abused a vulnerability in the feature to add friends from the social network. Facebook stated that the data included in this leak is the same as that collected in 2019.
However, for all this, Facebook Inc. is facing a formal investigation by its main privacy regulator in the European Union after the leak of personal data of users of the social networking service.
Facebook reported that it is “cooperating fully” and that the investigation “relates to features that make it easier for people to find and connect with friends on our services.”
The risk of misuse of this data
According to Adalid, a company that works on the prevention and management of fraud in virtual environments in Latin America, ensures that the release of personal data to instant messaging systems such as WhatsApp, has become the main cybercrime tool in Colombia to extort money. , threaten and steal bank details.
And it is that in order to kidnap the profiles and contact data, they pose as users who pretend to be part of the technical support of the application and request codes that would guarantee the “security of the application and encrypted messages.” In this way, it is important to be careful with the data that you provide since an oversight could open a door for them to steal your personal information and deceive those who come in contact with you through the application.
“The first recommendation is not to deliver any code, neither Facebook nor WhatsApp ask for a code to access support services, it is important to never deliver them”, Axel Díaz, Chief Technology Officer of Adalid, assures Publimetro.
Avoid being a victim in this new form of cybercrime, Díaz shares tips to keep in mind.
-It is important to analyze the sender of the message and not to deliver codes to access support services.
-Have clarity of the information that accrues in codes, ignoring if we have not requested them, such as, for example, when changing numbers or opening the application on another cell phone.
-Report the numbers that pose as WhatsApp support services or other entities with which you have not had contact.
-Handle in a private way sensitive information such as photos and videos that can be easily accessed to impersonate your identity.
How to know if your data has been leaked
Through Have I Been Pwned, users will also be able to verify if their data is part of the leak. If so, by entering your phone number or email address, the Facebook incident dated April 2021 will appear on the list.
The incident is a good reminder of how important it is to change passwords every certain period of time and not reuse them in more than one service.