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Security & privacy

Data leak: Details on billions of Facebook and Clubhouse users shared online

It’s a sad day for folks who use Facebook and Clubhouse. A new data breach could mean your private details are exposed for all the world to see. Researchers say a hacker is trying to sell a database of 3.8 billion phone numbers from both sites for $100,000.

This is bad news even for people who don’t have Clubhouse or Facebook accounts. In the past, Clubhouse asked users to share their complete contact lists. So if you have a friend with a Clubhouse account, that means they might have given your phone number to the site — which now means your number is exposed.

Luckily, there’s a quick way to tell if you’re involved in the breach. Tap or click here for a tool that tells you if your data has been exposed online. For the full story — as well as all the scary stuff you need to know about — keep reading.

Here’s what happened

The hacker first posted on Sept. 4, CyberNews reports. They advertised a merged database of users from Clubhouse and Facebook. It includes names, Facebook profile links and Clubhouse ranks, as well as phone numbers.

Bear in mind that CyberNews hasn’t confirmed that this threat is legitimate. Allegedly, the hacker compiled the database by combining users’ Facebook profiles with data leaked in previous Clubhouse breaches.

If you have never heard of it before, no worries. Tap or click here to our easy guide to Clubhouse.

Here’s a screenshot of the alleged hacker’s post:

Although Clubhouse is relatively new, it’s no stranger to security invasions. It launched in March 2020 as an exclusive, invite-only app. In April, the personal details of 1.3 million users were leaked online. Tap or click here for the whole story.

It’s no longer an exclusive app. In July 2021, it finally became available to everyone. You didn’t have to wait for an invitation from an existing user.

How this impacts you

Usually, scammers want as much information about you as possible. The previous leak wasn’t highly sought after since it only provided phone numbers. But if this new database is authentic and not just a hoax, the game changes.

This new breach is excellent news for scammers and bad news for you. Knowing your username, location, profile and network size give them a ton of contextual information that would help them run personalized phishing campaigns. For example, they can pose as one of your friends and pretend like they need money.

So far, it doesn’t seem like anyone has bought the database, either in bulk or piecemeal.

Are you worried you might be involved? Do this

But if you’re worried you might be involved, look up a trustworthy database like HaveIBeenPwned to see if any of your accounts were compromised in the past.

You should also keep an extra close eye on your Facebook and Clubhouse accounts. For instance, if a stranger reaches out on Facebook, don’t take the bait.

As always, use two-factor authentication to make it harder for criminals to break into your accounts. Also, don’t forget to change your account passwords. Tap or click here to set strong passwords that actually protect your accounts.

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