Million Records Leaked: Facebook Has Lost Control

Million Records Leaked: Facebook Has Lost Control

Million Records Leaked: Facebook Has Lost Control

One set was linked to Mexican media company Cultura Colectiva, which contained 540m records including comments, likes, reactions, account names, Facebook IDs and more.

According to a report by security firm UpGuard, more than 500 million Facebook users had their personal data exposed on the public servers of Amazon by app developers. "We are committed to working with the developers on our platform to protect people's data", the spokesperson added. The firm expressed concern that Facebook users who set the same password on multiple sites and services could be at the greatest risk.

The latest breach reminds of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, where personal data of millions of users collected by the firm through a quiz app on Facebook was used to potentially swing voters in the USA elections in 2016 and other campaigns.

Facebook's major defense post-Cambridge Analytica was that it was limiting third-party apps' access to this very kind of data.

"Facebook's policies prohibit storing Facebook information in a public database", a company spokeswoman said in a statement.

It wasn't until the morning of April 3, after Bloomberg contacted Facebook for comment, that the database backup was finally secured.

UpGuard notified Cultura Colectiva on 10th January this year, and then again in 14th January, with no response. This one contained Facebook passwords in plain text for 22,000 users, which is not as massive as the Cultura Colectiva dataset.

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Upguard also found a smaller data set in a separate AWS S3 instance which it says was a back up from the "At the Pool" app.

Another app developer of an app called "At the Pool" also left passwords unsecured in an Amazon cloud storage service.

As a quick refresher, Facebook's security woes are coming in semi-frequently now. "Regardless, the application is no longer active and all signs point to its parent company having shut down", UpGuard said.

Interestingly enough, this is not the first time Upguard tried to warn Facebook about the potentially detrimental consequences of its data strategy.

On the other hand, the At the Pool leak was taken offline while UpGuard were investigating the origin and before they could send an official email.

"Seems like every other week a security issue is discovered in the Facebook ecosystem", Renaud Deraison, co-founder and CTO of cyber exposure specialists Tenable, told The National. The problem is that those servers are publicly accessible, which meant the previously private information was suddenly quite public.

Facebook and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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