Is Facebook's News Feed fading? The cyber-security company Digital Shadows examined the claim on behalf of the BBC and confirmed that more than 81, of the profiles posted online as a sample contained private messages.
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Data from a furthers was also made available, although some of the information - including addresses and phone s - could have fuso scraped from members who had not hidden it. The BBC Russian Service contacted five Russian Facebook users whose private messages had been ed and confirmed the posts were theirs.
One example included photographs of a recent holiday, another was a chat about a recent Depeche Mode concert, and a third included complaints about a son-in-law. One of the websites where the data had been published appeared to have been set up in St Petersburg. Its IP address has also been flagged by the Cybercrime Tracker service.
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It says the address had been used to spread the LokiBot Trojan, which allows attackers to gain access to user passwords. Who should be blamed? Personal shopping assistants, bookmarking applications and even mini-puzzle games are all on offer from various browsers such as Chrome, Opera and Firefox as third-party extensions.
cuat The little icons sit alongside your URL address bar patiently waiting for you to click on them. According to Facebook, it was one such extension that quietly monitored victims' activity on the platform and sent personal details and private conversations back to the hackers. Facebook has not named the extensions it believes were involved but says the leak was not its fault.
Independent cyber-experts have told the BBC that if rogue extensions were indeed the cause, the browsers' developers might share some responsibility for failing to vet the rjso, assuming they were distributed via their marketplaces. But the hack is still bad news for Facebook. The embattled network has had a terrible year for data security and questions will be asked about whether it is proactive enough in caht to situations like this that affect large s of people.
The BBC Russian Service ed the address listed alongside the hacked details, posing as a buyer interested in buying two million s' details. The advertiser was asked whether the breached s were the same as those involved in either the Cambridge Analytica scandal or the subsequent security breach revealed in September. He said that the information had nothing to do with russo data leak.
He claimed that his hacking group could offer data from million users, of whom 2. But Digital Shadows told the BBC that this claim was doubtful because it was unlikely Facebook would have missed such a large breach.
John Smith did not explain why he had not advertised his services more widely. And when asked whether the leaks were linked to the Russian state or to the Internet Research Agency - a group of hackers linked to the Kremlin - he replied: "No.