HomeNews FeedMillions of Facebook's user data found on Amazon Cloud server

    Millions of Facebook’s user data found on Amazon Cloud server


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    Facebook spills hot water again. Today, according to researchers from security firm UpGuard, Facebook app developers expose hundreds of millions of user data publicly to the Amazon Cloud servers. According to the researchers, there are two data sets which come from a company called Cultura Colectiva which is a Mexican based company.

    Bloomberg said the researchers are able to find more than 540 million user records on the server. All of this is publicly open to the users. Merely of 146GB of data sets with user information such as user activity, account names, and user IDs as part of the data set. Other than that, an app called “At the Pool” also has a similar data set. Although the size of the data set is smaller, apparently, it still shows more than 22,000 users passwords who uses the app.

    Image from UpGuard – Cultuva Collective Data Set

    At this moment, UpGuard does not know how long the data is exposed to the public. There are not sure either on who might have obtained the data from the servers too. Bloomberg immediately alerts Facebook on the problem. Then immediately, Facebook contacts Amazon to verify on this issue and finally, Amazon closes the database from the cloud server.

    Few weeks ago, Facebook faces the same problem on user data where users passwords are stored in a plain text format. Since last year onwards, Facebook is facing issues with sharing user data with third parties such as the political data firm Cambridge Analytica. After that issue, Facebook is working hard to reduce the number of app which is allow to access the users data.

    Apparently, for now, we can see the data which appears on the cloud servers has been made available by mistake. We still not sure where could the user information travel after it was collected by the Facebook apps. The researchers from UpGuard, concludes “Data about Facebook users has been spread far beyond the bounds of what Facebook can control today. Combine that plenitude of personal data with storage technologies that are often misconfigured for public access, and the result is a long tail of data about Facebook users that continues to leak.”. UpGuard writes its sharing on its official blog post.

    Image from UpGuard – Data Sets from “At the Pool” app

    In conclusion, with all these issues most probably, Facebook might notify all its users to change their passwords again especially the one affected by using the app “At the Pool”. We are in the 21st century where all your data privacy is at risk. A piece of advice we can give to our readers would be try to change your passwords every three months to avoid such issues.

    Raaj Lokanathan
    A software engineer as a profession. A tech blogger as a passion.

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