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Facebook is no stranger to hacking and data breaches. The company has suffered numerous high-profile security breaches in recent years. In 2018, for example, the social media giant revealed that it had accidentally exposed the personal data of more than 50 million users, due to a small coding flaw in the platform that allowed attackers to access users’ accounts.
The Mark Zuckerberg-led company also became embroiled in another major controversy in 2020, when it was revealed that thousands of developers had access to the data of inactive users on the platform, sparking the ire of many people around the world.
In 2021, the tech giant will be hit by another wave of data breaches, but this time the number of users whose data has been exposed is not 50 million, but 500 million. The 3rd. In April, Alon Gal, CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, reported that the sensitive personal data of more than half a billion Facebook users had been shared on a popular hacker forum.
Specifically, the datasets include phone numbers, full names, locations, dates of birth, biographies and, in some cases, email addresses of more than 553 million users in 100 countries. Of these, 32 million users appear to be from the US, while 11 million are from the UK.
Indeed, this data currently circulating online potentially puts at risk the economies of millions of digital currency traders, who may now be vulnerable to sim-swapping and other identity-based attacks that have taken place in recent years.
What should I do?
How does this latest breach put individuals’ cryptographic assets at risk? Dave Jevans, CEO of blockchain security firm CipherTrace, told Cointelegraph that people whose phone numbers have been leaked should be very careful, as many digital asset scams rely on this information, he added :
We’ve seen an increase in SIM exchanges, phishing attacks, and other cryptocurrency scams that rely on getting victims’ phone numbers to execute. Leaked information about the identities of high-profile users of cryptocurrencies has given bad actors the ability to track them down.
He added that people who think their cryptocurrency could be compromised to some extent should rethink their existing privacy strategies – essentially think twice about storing all their assets on a centralized exchange that can use users’ phone numbers for two-factor authentication.
Mr. Jevans further suggested that managing our own keys may be the best way to protect our valuables from phishing with stolen phone numbers. However, he acknowledged that even this might not be enough. Phishers can still use other means to get account and address information, but it’s much more complicated, he added.
Ben Diggles, co-founder and chief revenue officer of Constellation – an enterprise-grade scalable blockchain that creates a standard to ensure the security of transferred data – told Cointelegraph that Facebook’s recent failure on security is not surprising, especially since most users of the social media platform tend to have a different mindset – that is, they would like their world to be managed and organized for them.
He added that if most users forget their password, they can just reboot the system. Moreover, Diggles says, most Facebook users aren’t even aware of the size of their digital footprint – a facet that Facebook also doesn’t make very clear:
Those who own the cryptocurrencies that were on the list have nothing to fear unless their ownership and access description information is stored on their Facebook account. However, these hackers have become very sophisticated, and I have no idea what tricks they have [up their sleeves] to figure out information specific to cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.
However, as a precaution, he said it would be best for most users to change their passwords on all their social media platforms, as well as other platforms that share their data with Facebook.
Is decentralisation important?
As the number of data breaches increases, more and more people around the world are realizing the security value of decentralized systems, especially since there is no single point of failure.
Eli Arkush, cloud solutions engineer at GlobalDots, believes that a distributed platform backend with blockchain technology can make it slightly more difficult for a hacker to obtain user credentials; however, once the credentials fall into the wrong hands, password reuse can become an issue.
Diggles also believes that few people are educated enough to understand why decentralization is really important, since everything seems decentralized enough already in theory, at least as far as digital technology is concerned.
He added that most people don’t know that the internet has its own rules. Even when he explains to people how technologies like Brave and the basic attention stoking work, it’s amazing: Most people don’t realize that they are part of a larger world of data, and I can understand why people have been conditioned to believe that centralization is safer. He added: If users realized that value is being taken away from them every day, they would quickly change their behavior, I think.
However, Stephen Wilson, a member of the Australian Government’s cyber security working group National Blockchain Roadmap and CEO of security provider Lockstep Group, believes that, contrary to what some may think, storing personal data through a blockchain ecosystem is never a good idea.
He noted that the kind of personal information breached by Facebook should never be stored on the blockchain, and if it is, that data can never be fully and effectively protected by the blockchain over the long term. He further said that decentralization and distributed systems have many different aspects:
Blockchains and DLTs generally decentralize only certain aspects of data management. In general, they do not decentralize data storage in any meaningful sense, because they tend to duplicate ledger entries in multiple systems. Storage is distributed, but identical copies of information are available in multiple locations and can be vulnerable to attackers or thieves.
Crypto-currency hunters in 2020 were focused on thespace of DeFi.
Late last year, Ledger, the maker of crypto wallets, was hit by a data breach that leaked the private data of more than 270,000 users online. After this incident, users began reporting threats of extortion from the attackers, leading many users to consider legal action against the company.
In addition, in 2020, there were a total of 28 attacks on various known cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms, with the total amount of funds generated by these malicious activities being around $300 million.
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According to a report by CipherTrace, more than 50% of all nefarious activity against the cryptocurrency market last year involved various decentralized financial protocols, after a sharp increase last year.
In the past, most hacking schemes were mainly focused on stealing money from crypto-currency exchanges, such as. B. in 2014 and 2018, $483 million and $875 million, respectively, was compromised by hacking exchanges.
However, an increasing number of attackers are now turning to the theft of user data, as this offers them a unique opportunity to make money with relative ease. Therefore, it is imperative that cryptocurrency owners learn to protect their assets with advanced tools so that they do not fall victim to such hacking attempts.
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