Facebook Fallout: Private Messages from 81,000 Accounts for Sale

Facebook Fallout: Private Messages from 81,000 Accounts for Sale

It’s thought that the private message data was obtained via a malicious browser extension that scraped the data from users’ accounts. The hackers claimed to sell access to the information for 10 cents per account.

The contents of hacked private messages from at least 81,000 Facebook accounts were advertised for sale online this fall, according to the BBC. Facebook said its security was not compromised.

The data breach was discovered in September after one of the hackers posted in an online forum that they were selling the stolen data of Facebook users. The hackers claimed that their database includes data from 120 million accounts, but that number could not be confirmed.

It’s thought that the private message data was obtained via a malicious browser extension that scraped the data from users’ accounts. The hackers claimed to sell access to the information for 10 cents per account.

Many of the hacked accounts originated from Russia and the Ukraine, but users from the United States, U.K., and elsewhere were also affected.

Facebook said its security had not been compromised and that they had taken steps to prevent more accounts from being affected.

“We have contacted browser-makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores,” Facebook executive Guy Rosen said. "We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts."

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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