Leaker of 178m Facebook profiles facing massive lawsuit

Facebook is prosecuting a Ukrainian national for profane the terms of service of its social network after he purportedly reaped the data of 178m users and sold it online on a widespread hacking forum.

According to a fresh complaint provided that additional facts on the complaint, Alexander Alexandrovich Solonchenko generated millions of virtual Android devices that each had an altered phone number and used them to supply automatic requests to the social media giant’s systems using its Messenger app.

Between January of 2018 and September of 2019, Solonchenko leveraged Facebook Messenger’s Contact Importer feature to build a database of Facebook user IDs and phone numbers.

Although Facebook dropped Contact Importer after it was used to leak the phone numbers of 533m users in a distinct occurrence, while in procedure the feature permitted users to sync the contacts from their phone with the social network. This permitted them to chat with their existing contacts over Messenger as a substitute for having to trust SMS to do so.


Phone number enumeration for accessible Facebook Id

After using phone number enumeration to put organised his database of openly accessible Facebook user IDs and phone numbers, Solonchenko then purportedly tried to sell it on the reputed hacking form RaidForums under the usernames” Solomane” and “Barak-Obama”.

However, Facebook user IDs and passwords weren’t the only stolen data Solonchenko tried to sell online as he also used RaidForums to sell data from a Ukrainian bank and private distribution service as well as a French data analytics firm.

In its complaint, Facebook disputes that since Solonchenko had at least two Facebook accounts, two Facebook apps and a Facebook page in addition to five Instagram accounts, he must have agreed to the firm’s Terms of Service at some point. The firm’s terms stringently proscribe gathering data from its products using automated means as well as selling or making data from its platform obtainable without written agreement.

Facebook is now requesting the US District Court of the Northern District of California to prohibit Solonchenko from retrieving its sites and selling data from them via the firm has also bidden payment for undetermined harms. Appreciatively for users of the social network, the firm put in a set of enhancements back in September of 2019 that made it much more challenging for scrapers to unlawfully gather data from its products which will probably aid in averting them from dropping victim to identity robbery.

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