In April 2021, over 500 million Facebook telephone numbers were made easily downloadable on the Internet. The telephone numbers are from Facebook users.
Where did the Facebook data come from?
It is believed that in August 2019, Facebook’s membership information was exploited. This is the data corpus that was released in April 2021.
Should you be worried?
Unlike previous data breaches which included email addresses and telephone numbers, the Facebook breach provides valuable information to marketers and criminals. The Facebook telephone numbers not only provide a mobile number that members may be reluctant to change, but it includes enough demographic information to target the individual directly with messages that look legitimate. See our article for detailed information and examples.
How many records are in the data set?
The area codes 915 and 575 include 169,806 records.
How many 915 telephone numbers did you find?
There are 125,296 telephone numbers in the 915 area code.
How many 575 telephone numbers did you find?
There are 44,510 telephone numbers in the 575 area code.
What is the gender makeup in the data set?
There are 80,480 females, 77,957 males and 11,369 unknowns.
What data is included in the data breach?
The Facebook data breach includes the telephone number of the Facebook user which is likely a mobile number. It includes the first name and last name of the member. It includes the Facebook account number. It may include the gender, email address, location information, work details, marital status and date of birth.
What is this tool?
El Paso News, Inc. took the publicly available Facebook data and we extracted the 915 and 575 area codes from the over 500 million records. We selected the area codes because they are likely from El Paso users. Our targeted audience is from El Paso. We understand that not all El Paso readers have a 915 or 575 area code, but we believe that the majority have it. Because of the resources required to maintain such a large dataset we elected to limit the scope of our tool.
Can you show me the complete record?
We are looking at providing access to the complete record. To do so we need to see if there is enough demand for us to add that functionality. If there is enough interest, we then need to ensure that the data is not abused. If we turn on the functionality, we will only allow the owner of the telephone number to see the complete record by sending a one-time text code to the number. The code will allow the individual to see the complete record. We feel that is the best way to protect the telephone number owner. Let us know by submitting your email address if you are interested. You can do so by searching for your number and submitting your email address on the results page. If we get enough interest, we will notify you via email that the tool is available.
My number is not on the list, am I safe?
Although your number did not come up on our tool you should proceed with caution. There are many reasons why the search may not find your telephone number. The data set is corrupted and some records may not have transferred properly.
Can you remove my data?
Our tool uses a dataset that is already publicly available. Removing it from our tool will do nothing to protect you. We do not publish the complete record when the tool is used.
Who created the tool?
Martín Paredes created this search tool. Martín created the tool to allow individuals to quickly check to see if their telephone number has been compromised. We believe that the Facebook leak is a serious problem for those whose phone number has been leaked. See the section Should You Be worried? above for more details.
Who is paying for this tool?
Martín Paredes is paying for the costs associated with the tool.
Can I buy the data?
Can I access the data for research?
That is something we are considering. Although there is a potential for abuse, we also understand that the data set offers some unique opportunities for research. Also, the news media may be interested in contacting victims of the leaks to understand what, if any impact, the leaks may have had on them. We will consider each request on an individual basis. Our primary concern is to not allow abuse of our data set.
Anything else I should know?
We are considering expanding the tool to include all references to El Paso in the full data set as well as to include Cd. Juárez telephone numbers. Should we proceed with this we will make an announcement on this site and on our publications.