Hackers selling stolen private Facebook messages for 10 cents per account


While this might sound reminiscent of the recent Facebook hack that compromised the personal data of some 30 million users that also happened last month, this attack is different than - and completely unrelated to - that previous attack. "Our database includes 120 million accounts".

Facebook said the messages were not obtained through a breach in its security, but rather a dodgy browser extension. To steal the information, the well-known method of malicious desktop browser extension was used.

The BBC Russian Service reached out to five Russian Facebook users whose data was purportedly involved in the breach, confirming the authenticity of the private messages.

After performing some investigation, security firm Digital Shadows confirmed that about 81,000 profile had private messages.

"We have contacted browser makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores and to share information that could help identify additional extensions that may be related".

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The other key difference between the two hacks are the targets: the personal information that was stolen seemed primarily to focus on American accounts while the more recent browser hack targeted users living in Ukraine and Russian Federation. We have also contacted law enforcement and have worked with local authorities to remove the website that displayed information from Facebook accounts. A further 176,000 accounts also contained personal data such as phone numbers and email addresses, though these might've been obtained without actually hacking the accounts, by scraping the information from users who chose not to make it private. Compromised data reportedly included chats about a recent Depeche Mode concert, complaints about a son-in-law, intimate conversations between lovers, and photos of a recent holiday as well.

Facebook believes a rogue browser extension is to blame for the theft.

Facebook is under the microscope ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light and the social networking platform is trying to deal with every situation carefully.

Trojans and malicious browser extensions stealing Facebook data is nothing new as BleepingComputer has reported on them in the past.