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Kaspersky comment: Data of over 533 million Facebook users leaked online

April 2021 by Kaspersky

Over the Easter weekend, Facebook has again been at the centre of an unprecedented data breach. As it stands, the records of almost half a billion Facebook users, including phone numbers, emails, D.O.B, and location, were shared on a low-level hacking forum.

The comments from cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky on how data breaches of this size occur, and what we can do to prevent them:

Alexander Moiseev, Chief Business Officer at Kaspersky
“Data protection remains a sensitive topic for both people and organizations. In fact, it is the most concerning IT security issue for more than half of organizations globally (59%), according to Kaspersky’s research. Last year, every second organization (46%) experienced data breaches as a result of different cybersecurity incidents.
For users, this means we have to be very vigilant. Though we may be accustomed to leaving different information about ourselves on the Internet, we still need to control what we really want to make public and what we don’t. That’s why it is important to understand how our data can be used if it appears in the wrong hands – for phishing, social engineering or account takeovers. And, if this happens, it is important to be prepared and use dedicated protection on our devices.”

Dmitry Galov, security expert at Kaspersky
“It would not be surprising if attackers were seen using the information obtained from the breach in targeted phishing attacks, whereby attackers send malicious emails that appear to come from a trusted sender, for example, from the email address of your Facebook friend. Attackers could also use the information to impersonate the person whose data was breached. In order to stay safe from scammers who may be exploiting this data, take extra precaution when you receive emails that seem strange—even if they appear to come from someone you trust. Never click on any links or attachments inside emails and always check for strange grammar/spelling errors (a sign that the email is not from the person it claims to be). To protect your personal information online, the best thing you can do is limit the types of information you share on social media platforms. Kaspersky’s free Privacy Checker tool can help you configure your social media accounts’ privacy settings to provide the appropriate level of security.”

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky:
“One way of reducing the impact of such breaches is to be selective with the ‘real’ personal information you use when creating an account or profile on a social network. Whilst government agencies such as HMRC or DVLA need to know your real information, this isn’t the case for social networking sites, so think about whether you really need to disclose such information before disclosing.”

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