Millions of Facebook user records exposed in data breach

Another huge Facebook security blunder exposes data of millions

The incident is the latest in a string of privacy failures to hit the social networking giant, as it faces continued scrutiny over its management of user data and its privacy controls. One, originating from the Mexico-based media company Cultura Colectiva, weighs in at 146 gigabytes and contains over 540 million records detailing comments, likes, reactions, account names, FB IDs and more. There's no evidence that anyone other than the UpGuard researchers was aware of either data set, although naturally we can't know for sure. Facebook shares pared their gains after the Bloomberg News report. The other database comes from a now-defunct Facebook app called "At the pool".

The second data exposure came via a Facebook app called At the Pool.

Professional Shodan jockey Chris Vickery of Upguard spotted a pair of exposed AWS S3 buckets that appear to belong to the coders behind Cultura Colectiva and At the Pool, a pair of third party apps for Facebook.

Cultura Colectiva spokesman Daniel Peralta said in a statement that all the data provided to the company by Facebook was gathered from the fan pages the company manages as a publisher, which is "public, not sensitive, and available to all users who have access to Facebook". Can the social network put this data genie back in the bottle?

Cultura Colectiva is a digital platform that posts stories about celebrities and culture and largely targets a Latin American audience. Sources are accusing Facebook of inappropriately sharing users' data with third parties.

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Facebook has said the data was initially collected by a professor for academic purposes in line with its rules, CNN reported.

First the Cambridge Analytica saga, then the security flaw that allowed hackers to access 50 million Facebook accounts... and now this. That one instance has led to government probes around the world, and threats of further regulation for the company. "Combine that plenitude of personal data with storage technologies that are often misconfigured for public access, and the result is a long tail of data about Facebook users that continues to leak". Facebook now offers rewards for researchers who find problems with its third-party apps. The number of affected users is believed to be in the range of millions and tens of millions. UpGuard also had trouble working to get the database closed. It wasn't until Facebook contacted Amazon that the leak was addressed.

Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the analysis of UpGuard researchers, the database is a treasure trove of exclusive user information all stored in plain sight without having password protection.

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