Hackers caught selling 81,000 private Facebook conversations

Hackers caught selling 81,000 private Facebook conversations

Before the advertisement was removed, hackers attempted to sell access to the data for as little as 10 cents per account, according to the BBC.

The data trove has surfaced shortly after Facebook confirmed that 29 million users had their accounts accessed by hackers.

Facebook, however, said its systems were not breached as part of the hack. However, this new stolen data appears to have been obtained through malicious browser add-ons.

The incident was first highlighted in September when a user with name FBSaler posted a message on an online forum: "We sell personal information of Facebook users". The report stated that in addition to the 81,000 accounts whose private messages were leaked online, data from additional 176,000 accounts were also made available but email addresses and phone numbers could have been scraped from members who not hidden it.

Several users whose details have been compromised were based in Ukraine and Russian Federation but some were also from the UK, US, Brazil and elsewhere, the report said on Friday.

"One example included photographs of a recent holiday, another was a chat about a recent Depeche Mode (British rock band) concert and a third included complaints about a son-in-law", the report said.

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In an emailed statement to various publications, Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management wrote, "Based on our investigation so far, we believe this information was obtained through malicious browser extensions installed off of Facebook".

Facebook's Rosen said that its security wasn't compromised, and urged people to remove any plug-ins they don't fully trust.

The social network is also working with local authorities to remove the website where the sample data was posted.

There was also an intimate correspondence between two lovers.

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 programs, assuming they were distributed via their marketplaces.

"Browsers like Chrome can be very secure, but browser extensions can introduce serious gaps in their armour".

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