April 07, 2021
The leaks don’t stop!
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📰 FEATURE STORY
Data leak of 533 million Facebook users
Last Saturday, Alon Gal (Co-Founder & CTO of Israeli security firm Hudson Rock) tweeted that data of 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries were leaked online for free. The leaked user data includes Phone Number, Facebook ID, Full name, Location, Past Location, Birthdate, Account Creation Date, Relationship Status, Bio, and Email Address (in some cases).
In 2019, there were reports of a vulnerability that led to extraction of phone numbers and their associated Facebook profiles. Although that vulnerability was fixed by Facebook, the data that was retrieved was being sold online through the dark web. An automated Telegram bot let users look up either the phone number or Facebook ID for a fee. But now, the entire database has been posted online for free.
The leaked database includes data of 61,62,450 Facebook users from India.
Details of the breach:
Several cybersecurity experts have noted that even though the data was old, the information contained in the database such as date of birth is relevant even now. Some have even accused Facebook of not informing its users regarding the data breach.
Liz Bourgeois, who is part of the Facebook communications team, tweeted saying that the leaked dataset was previously reported in 2019, and the company had fixed the issue in August 2019.
Apart from the above message, Facebook has not officially spoken or written about the issue.
P.S. You can check if your data has been compromised in any data breach by visiting the Have I Been Pwned website.
🕵️ BEYOND ECHO CHAMBERS
For the Right:
- Despite gaining electoral strength, the BJP is beginning to get careless about its own stated values and principles.
For the Left:
- Mamata Banerjee’s assumption that Bengali nationalism could block anti-incumbency and Hindutva may be optimistic.
🗳️ ELECTION WATCH
(126 constituencies – 3-phase polls)
- 82.39% (approximate) of eligible voters exercised their franchise in the third and final phase of voting across 40 constituencies in Assam. The first and second phases of voting had a turnout of 79.97% and 80.96%, respectively.
(140 constituencies – 1-phase poll)
- The state witnessed a voter turnout of 74.04% (approximate) yesterday. This is slightly lesser than the 77.53% turnout achieved during 2016 assembly polls.
(234 constituencies – 1-phase poll)
- 72.78% (approximate) of voters cast their votes in the assembly election yesterday. In 2016 assembly polls, the state had registered 74.26% polling. This is the first time the state has gone to the polls without the presence of late political stalwarts M Karunanidhi of DMK and J Jayalalithaa of AIADMK.
(294 constituencies – 8-phase polls)
- The third phase of polls were conducted yesterday. 77.68% (approximate) voters exercised their franchise during this phase.
🏴 STATE OF THE STATES
Held hostage (Chhattisgarh) – Days after 22 security persons were killed in an ambush, the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) confirmed yesterday that they had taken one CRPF’s elite CoBRA commando as a hostage. Confirming the deaths of 5 persons from their side, the Maoists have asked the government to declare mediators to negotiate the release of the captured commando.
Flaming trees (Uttarakhand) – The state is reeling from the impact of forest fires over the past few days. In the past three days, at least 47 incidents of forest fires have been reported. Forest officials have been working round the clock to contain the fires. Indian Air Force has also deployed its helicopters to douse the fires. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured all support to the state government to control the fires.
Arch record (Jammu and Kashmir) – Indian engineers achieved an impressive feat after completing the arch of the world’s highest railway bridge over Chenab river in the state. According to officials, the railway bridge will be completed within the next two and a half years. The bridge will be part of the Uddhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link, which will reduce transport time by half.
🔢 KEY NUMBER
25.5 billion – Real-time digital transactions in India in 2020, according to a report by ACI Worldwide. India holds the number one position for real-time digital transactions, while China with 15.7 billion transactions and South Korea with 6.01 billion transactions come second and third, respectively. The US is at ninth place with just 1.2 billion transactions.