Facebook Apps Expose 540 Million Records

Also removed was a smaller database of more than 22,000 people amassed by a separate firm that listed names, passwords and email addresses. The data was compiled several years ago, when Facebook used to more freely share it with third-party apps, but is still sitting unguarded, Upguard tells Bloomberg. The problem of accidental public storage could be more extensive than those two instances. "The password is simply no longer enough to provide a sufficient level of security in today's threat landscape". In its capacity as a high-ranking Latin American-focused digital media publisher, Cultura Colectiva was likely using the data to better predict how well future content would spread, become popularized on similar platforms, and generate traffic.

Another week, another Facebook data breach.

"Neither sensitive nor private data, like emails or passwords, were amongst those because we do not have access to that kind of data, so we did not put our users' privacy and security at risk", Cultura Colectiva reportedly said.

So far, the amount of misused Facebook data we have learned about - Cambridge Analytica and these two databases - is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

Many security experts are of the view that, in the light of the frequent cybersecurity lapses, Facebook does not have a clear understanding of cybersecurity. For app developers on Facebook, part of the platform's appeal is access to some slice of the data generated by and about Facebook users. That database held about 540 million records from Facebook users, mostly in Mexico and Latin America, who subscribed to the Spanish-language news and culture app.

The social network said its policies prohibited Facebook data being stored in publicly-accessible databases.

Facebook said it worked with Amazon to take down the database. It is 146 gigabytes in size with over 540 million records. UpGuard also had trouble working to get the database closed.

More news: Trump claims he wasn't seeking pre-election health care vote

According to UpGuard, they have sent two notification e-mails to Cultura Colectiva on January 10 and January 14, and have received no response.

Redacted example of data from the exposed Cultura Colectiva dataset. The datasets were not even password-protected and the data was available for anyone to access. Among other information, researchers found user IDs, photos, check-ins, and passwords.

Other times, it isn't.

Amazon said that customers can override AWS security, such as the app makers in this case. That allowed the company to facilitate the records being taken down from AWS. But it has a wide lead in the business of selling rented data storage and computing power, putting a spotlight on Seattle-based company's practices.

Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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