April 6, 2021
Last weekend, cybersecurity experts revealed that about half a billion Facebook users’ personal information had been breached— a treasure trove of data the includes full names, birthdays, and phone numbers, CNN reports.
Facebook said that the massive hack stems from an issue in 2019, which has since been fixed. Still, there’s no clawing back that data. More than 30 million U.S. accounts were affected– and, CNN notes, the social media company isn’t making it easy to find out if your data was included in the breach.
But a third-party website, haveibeenpwned.com, has come to the rescue: It makes it simple to check whether your feed has been breached by inputting your email. For now, it just checks if your email was among those stolen.
That’s a pretty big catch: Although 533 million Facebook accounts were included in the breach, only 2.5 million of those included emails in the stolen data. So you’ve got less than a half-percent chance of showing up on that website, even though you’ve got about a 20% chance of being hacked if you’ve got a Facebook account. (This author was among those hacked.)
HaveIBeenPwned creator and security expert Troy Hunt said on Twitter that he’s examining whether to add phone numbers.
“The primary value of the data is the association of phone numbers to identities; whilst each record included a phone number, only 2.5 million contained an email address,” Hunt’s website said.
Although this data is from 2019, it could still be of value to hackers and cyber criminals like those who engage in identify theft.
Facebook didn’t immediately respond to CNN on Monday about whether if it will create a way to see if their information was leaked.
Research contact: @CNN