Posted on October 2, 2018 at 12:13 PM
Several login details belonging to many Facebook users have been stolen and are now being sold on the dark web for a meager $3.90. This latest trend is a huge source of concern for users’ privacy even as the social media website was seriously compromised last week by hackers. Last week’s attack reached even the Facebook CEO himself and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
About the Dark Web
The Dark Web is a platform utilized by cybercriminals to carry out all sorts of infractions namely fake documents, drugs, and stolen personal details of people. Sadly, this internet platform is very hard to access. Lately, there are many ads flying on it where people are encouraged to buy login details of Facebook accounts.
Some reports such as one emanating from Money Guru in the UK attest to the fact that companies that are after some targeted audience for advertisements are usually the ones buying these stolen Facebook accounts. The report, however, posits that apart from a person’s social media outlets, other ways abound by which he or she can be understood. Here is an excerpt from the report:
There are few better ways to gain insight into someone’s life than their social media accounts… These details are frequently stolen to sell to companies with little scruples about targeted advertising. It’s also a fast track to identity theft as they can take control of your accounts, lock you out and cause serious reputational damage in a short space of time.
What happens to Stolen Accounts?
Upon acquiring the login details of a legitimate Facebook user, hackers can gain access to lots of information about the account holder. Such pieces of information can include bank details, holiday time, school details of holder’s children, and a lot of other details that are supposed to be kept secret.
And for an experienced fraudster, in less than 10 minutes, these pieces of information would be on the dark web for sale. When researchers discovered this, they warned Facebook users to ensure their data are fully protected when possible. Infractions of personal data on a person’s social media account can be very costly, they said.
Most Recent Facebook Attack
The news came as a shock to many as Facebook accounts numbering up to 50 million were said to have been stolen by cybercriminals. It was an identity theft that cannot be swept under the carpet. This massive attack did not only affect Facebook alone but its effect resonated to other social media as well.
Facebook regretfully informed its teeming users on Friday evening that 50 million of its users’ accounts have been compromised by criminals. The implication of this hacking is that someone else other than the legitimate owner of the account can also access it.
Beyond gaining access to a user’s account and personal details, criminals can as well have access to users’ other social media connected to Facebook in as many ways as the legitimate holder would. That is, if a person’s FB accounts are connected to Airbnb, Tinder, Instagram, Messenger, and the like, hackers can as well, gain access to them.
The reason for this massive hacking is not unconnected with a defect in the website’s code. As it goes, each time a user logs in to their Facebook accounts, they get an access token. These codes are much like digital keys which reminds Facebook as well as other sites connected to it that a user has logged in.
As such, users often discover that when they close their browser’s tab and re-enter, they still find their account logged in. But beyond that, it was the recent upload tool made available in June by Facebook that brought about the bug that hackers are now exploiting.
With the bug, they have been able to steal accounts belonging to nothing less than 50 million login details of users.
As for how a user can protect themselves from getting hacked, only two means are currently available which are: refusing to own a Facebook account and praying for luck that you would not be among the target by the criminals. Save for these two unorthodox methods, every Facebook account holder is very vulnerable.