The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said it is validating reports that 879,699 Facebook accounts of Filipino netizens are allegedly compromised as part of the large-scale breach affecting 533 million global users from 106 countries of the social media platform.
Initial information shows the data breach leaked the full names, phone numbers, location, e-mail addresses, and biographical information of users around the world.
So far, Facebook Philippines has not yet issued any statement on the breach of 879,699 Filipino accounts.
The NPC said it immediately reached out to the social media giant’s Philippine Data Privacy Officer “to gather more information on the matter.”
The NPC is encouraging Facebook users to be more cautious online by regularly changing their passwords and the activation of two-step authentication of accounts to safeguard their personal information.
Alon Gal who first discovered the data breach tweeted screenshots of some of the accounts that had been compromised.
“This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for the account was leaked,” he said.
He added that he had yet to see Facebook acknowledging this “absolute negligence” of its users personal data.
All 533,000,000 Facebook records were just leaked for free.
This means that if you have a Facebook account, it is extremely likely the phone number used for the account was leaked.
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) April 3, 2021
Facebook sent emails to the global press explaining that the data set leaked are “old data that was previously reported on in 2019” and that the security issue that caused the breached was already “found and fixed in August 2019.”
However, even if Facebook calls the data “old,” the user data becomes more accessible in online hacking forum increasing the danger for users whose accounts and information are included in the breach. – Rommel F. Lopez