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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Revelations comes at a time when social media giant is trying to regain the trust of users
A database containing personal details of more than 267 million Facebook users was allegedly left exposed on the Web, according to a report from Britain-based tech research firm Comparitech and security researcher Bob Diachenko.
Diachenko believes the trove of data - including user IDs, phone numbers and names - is most likely the result of an illegal scraping operation or Facebook API abuse by criminals in Vietnam.
"Scraping" is a term used to describe a process in which automated bots quickly sift through large numbers of Web pages, copying data from each one into a database. The information contained in the database could be used to conduct large-scale SMS spam and phishing campaigns, among other threats to end users, said the report on Thursday, adding that most of the affected users were from the US.
The revelations come at a time when Facebook is trying to regain the trust of its users.
After discovering that personal details of 267 million Facebook users were exposed online, Diachenko notified the Internet service provider managing the IP address of the server so that access could be removed.
However, the data was also posted to a hacker forum as a download, said the security researcher.
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