On the 4th of October, early in the morning (US time), for nearly seven hours, the entire network of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram was down. In fact, the internet for these services was not available. From the monitoring of DownDectors, Facebook is almost completely offline in Europe, America, and Oceania. It was also inaccessible in Asia, Japan, South Korea, India, and other countries. In Nigeria and other parts of Africa, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram were inaccessible.
After the accident, Facebook’s chief technology officer expressed sincere apologies for the downtime of the platform service. Facebook sent a team to the company’s data center to manually reset the service. However, things did not go as easily as the team has expected. They experienced a plethora of network issues. Nevertheless, the team worked as fast as possible to debug and recover the platforms.
Subsequently, Russian Privacy Affairs reported that during the interruption of Facebook’s global network service, someone sold Facebook user data on a hacker forum. The data includes the user’s name, address, email address, and phone number. According to the report, about 1.5 billion Facebook accounts were up for sale.
Facebook user data may still be safe
As of now, there is no way of confirming if the report from the Russian Privacy Affairs is true. However, there were confirmations that some people made an attempt to buy some Facebook user data. Nevertheless, potential buyers complained that they were scammed by the seller and did not receive any data after paying $5,000. This suggests that the seller probably did not have the data he claims to have. However, all Facebook users have to be very vigilant for unusual activities on their accounts.
Whether the user data packaged and sold is related to Facebook’s network problem is not yet known. However, in late September this year, some folks posted claiming that they have 1.5 billion Facebook user data. Also, a potential buyer bid for every one million users data is $5000. This means that the entire 1.5 billion data if available should cost about $7.5 million.
If this is true, it will be the largest in terms of the “leakage” of user data. Facebook had problems after about 23:34 Beijing time last night. Most hit with this issue are users from the U.S., U.K., as well as Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, and other countries.
In all, whether or not the purchase of accounts is true, users of these platforms need to make some modifications. It will be ideal to make some changes like passwords and other relevant information for more security.