Unsecured Amazon Cloud Storage Leaked Facebook User Data for Months

Over 540 million Facebook records were left exposed on an Amazon cloud-computing server

The data set reportedly contains over 146 GB of data, which amounts to over 540 million Facebook user records, including comments, likes, reactions, account names, Facebook user IDs, and more.

This time, two third-party app development companies left more than 540 million records exposed on a public storage server. The UpGuard Cyber Risk security organisation has found one database belonging to a Mexico-based media company Cultura Colectiva, and one belonging to the now defunct app At The Pool.

Cultura Colectiva spokesman Daniel Peralta said in a statement that all the data provided to the company by Facebook was gathered from the fan pages the company manages as a publisher, which is "public, not sensitive, and available to all users who have access to Facebook".

While Facebook hadn't exposed any user passwords or other confidential information to these app developers, it does show that they are sending this data in an unencrypted manner to these developers rather than making use of some sort of private key encryption to allow app developers to work with this data.

Facebook for years has shared user data with third-party developers but has tightened its grip lately, according to Bloomberg.

If you haven't already given Facebook your number, says Bobby Richter, who heads Consumer Reports' privacy and security testing, it's better to use an app such as Duo Mobile or Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication.

For the last two years, the negative publicity on how Facebook partners collect, share, and secure data has skyrocketed.

UpGuard say they reached out to Cultura Colectiva back in January and, as of posting, have still received no response. UpGuard also discovered that there are still 100,000 public Amazon-hosted databases in existence. There is another database that belongs to At the Pool app, which isn't active anymore. "In each case, the Facebook platform facilitated the collection of data about individuals and its transfer to third parties, who became responsible for its security", explained UpGuard. "Data about Facebook users has been spread far beyond the bounds of what Facebook can control today", said UpGuard.

Both of the data sets were stored in such a way that anyone could download them.

Brian Vecci, a top executive at the security firm Varonis recommends that consumers check which apps are now collecting data from their accounts and revoke access for those that don't need it.

At The Pool did not respond to a request for comment.

Facebook is once again in the line of fire for data harvesting - cool!

UpGuard sells products for companies to prevent and detect data exposures.

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