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One million Vietnamese’ Facebook accounts aired on a hacking forum

December 14, 2020 | 20:58

Data including phone numbers, emails, locations were stolen from Vietnamese Facebook users and shared for free on hacker’s forum.

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5644 hacking forum
Data share article containing information of millions of Vietnamese Facebook users on R * forums.

According to Vnexpress, those data were leaked by a member, nicknamed Ltianyi, on a forum specializing in exchanging information from hackers. The post was made in the middle of November, however, not until some days ago, did it draw attention from cybersecurity experts.

In his post, Ltianyi said that the shared data includes accounts, locations, phone numbers, email, UID (User Identification Code), the number of friends… of around 1 million Facebook users in Vietnam but the data “are still incomplete”.

Unlike other data archives, which usually require users’ payment to download, these aforementioned leaks were provided for free to any members in the forum. The size of the archive is nearly 70MP, equalling around 600MB when they are extracted. This information is confirmed to be completely true, matching the Facebook user information in real life.

“The leak like this may lead to some troubles for users with spam messages and advertising contents. More dangerously, scammers or cybercriminals can use the information to blackmail or fraud," said security experts from the WhiteHat group. According to these experts, identification code, account name, country of origin can be public information on Facebook, however, email and phone number are sensitive and need to be kept confidential. The revealed data is updated to May 2019.

According to experts, this leak may come from third parties, such as game applications, online shopping sites, entertainment services, forums ...

"When Facebook users login information to register an account, these parties will get the user's information through the API that Facebook provides," WhiteHat's expert said, after evaluating the structure of the information released. Information leakage can be caused by systems of third parties that are vulnerable and exploited by hackers, but it does not preclude the possibility that these parties actively sell user data.

Therefore, Facebook users are advised to regularly change passwords, update two-layer protection, not log in or access strange links … are ways to help users be able to protect themselves against hacker attacks.

A lot of celebrities in Vietnam have complained that their accounts were hacked, according to Vietnamnet.

Some individuals accepted the account loss and restarted from the very beginning. Some others asked for intervention from Facebook Singapore and others accepted to pay a ransom for the accounts.

Previously, hacking celebrities’ nicknames and asking for ransom was a popular business among hackers. However, the business could not be done for a long time because of high risks. The people could not get their Facebook nicknames back easily.

Therefore, hackers decided to attack the Facebook accounts of normal people, with the authority to administer large groups or fan pages. These could be renamed and re-sold at high prices with no high risks.

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