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Personal Information Of 533 Million Facebook Users Leaked Online

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personal information of 533 million facebook users leaked online

It seems that Facebook’s data privacy issues won’t ever end. Security researcher Alon Gal has recently revealed that the personal information belonging to around 533 million Facebook users has been leaked online.

The massive dataset is currently being shared on various underground hacking forums for free, and it affects users from 106 countries including every country in the MENA region. At 32 million records, US Facebook users represent the greatest chunk of the dataset, followed by 11 million users from the UK, and 6 million users from India.

Besides user’s full names, the leak includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, locations, birthdates, bios, and sometimes even email addresses.

“So what’s the impact? For a targeted attack where you know someone’s name and country, it’s great for mobile phone lookup,” explains Troy Hunt, the creator of the Have I Been Pwned database. “But for spam based on using phone number alone, it’s gold. Not just SMS, there are heaps of services that just require a phone number these days, and now there’s hundreds of millions of them conveniently categorized by country with nice mail merge fields like name and gender.”

facebook users leaked data sample

Twitter: @UnderTheBreach

The stolen information actually comes from 2019, and cybercriminals had access to it for quite some time now through a Telegram bot, which makes it possible to look up a phone number and receive the corresponding user’s Facebook ID, and the other way around — all for a small fee.

Also Read: Exploits In Microsoft Exchange Used To Breach Over 30,000 Organizations

“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019,” said Liz Bourgeois, Facebook’s director of strategic response communications, in a Saturday tweet.

Old or not, the fact that the personal information of half a billion Facebook users is circulating around on the internet for free is the least the social media giant and its users need right now considering the number of new cybersecurity threats created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, Facebook will take the steps necessary to minimize the impact of the breach and protect its users.

To find out whether or not your Facebook account data was among the leak, go to HaveIBeenPwned.com and enter the email address you use to login to Facebook with. If your email address is detected within the millions of accounts, HaveIBeenPwned will let you know.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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