Russian hackers compromise 120 million Facebook accounts; private messages on sale online

Haythem Elmir

Facebook has fallen victim to countless security breaches and November brings even more bad news for the social network. Russian hackers are selling private conversations of at least 81,000 Facebook accounts at 10 cents per account, writes the BBC.

According to the BBC Russian Service, which communicated with the hackers, the criminals claim to have the private conversations of 120 million accounts and, of course, they are willing to sell for the right price. Most of the accounts belong to users in Ukraine and Russia, but some come from other countries such as the UK, US and Brazil.

The data breach was detected in September when the hackers announced on a forum that “We sell personal information of Facebook users. Our database includes 120 million accounts.”

The IP address of the website has been linked to the dissemination of the LokiBot Trojan, malware that lets criminals steal user passwords.

Facebook claims the security of its messaging platform was not compromised, and blames malicious browser extensions such as games and bookmarking applications. If users didn’t hide their information, emails and phone numbers may have also been compromised.

“We have contacted browser-makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores,” said Facebook executive Guy Rosen.

“We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts.”

The BBC Russian Service reached out to the hackers via the emails provided in the announcement, asking to buy the details of 2 million accounts. Following the email exchange, BBC says the hackers denied any relation to the Cambridge Analytica story or other hacks, and claimed they were not linked to the Russian government or Internet Research Agency.

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