Breach Brief – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

Published On January 13, 2021 | By Tom Huskerson | Breach Briefs, News and Analysis

Yet again we have to deal with another data breach. And yet again it involves some of the most well know companies.

Facebook, its subsidiary Instagram and LinkedIn are all victims of the latest data theft. So how bad was it?  Social-media management company Socialarks got hit to the tune of more than 408GB of personal data from around 214 million Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn users worldwide. According to researches from Safety Detectives that adds up to about 318 million individual records.

But its not as bad as you might think. First of all your passwords and financial data appear to be safe…for now. And the data that was stolen is information you share anyway. This includes;

  • Your full name
  • Phone numbers and email addressees
  • Usernames
  • Profile pictures
  • Like/Follower counts
  • Job title
  • Connected social media account names (on LinkedIn)

Socialarks built its database by scraping public information from Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These companies frown upon this practice and have very stringent policies against the practice for this very reason.

But according to Safety Detectives this information still was not publicly available. And this is concerning.

“However, according to our findings, Socialarks’ database stored personal data for Instagram and LinkedIn users such as private phone numbers and email addresses for users that did not divulge such information publicly on their accounts. How Socialarks could possibly have access to such data in the first place remains unknown.

Also, the fact that such a large, active, and data-rich database was left completely unsecured (probably for a second time) is astonishing.”

Unfortunately there is not a a lot you can do about the breach. Good advice would be to check “HaveIBeepwned” to see if the information shows up. You can also use Facebook’s Privacy Checkup tool to get an idea what you may be sharing that you may not have known.  And use LinkedIn’s  privacy tool to view your public profile and quickly adjust anything you’re sharing on it.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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