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Technology

267 Millions of Facebook user phone numbers exposed online, security researchers say

More than 267 million Facebook user phone numbers, names and person IDs have been uncovered in a database that anybody might entry on-line, including to an extended listing of privateness and safety mishaps that proceed to plague the world’s largest social community.

Safety researcher Bob Diachenko found the trove of Facebook person information on Dec. 14. The database, which has been pulled down, wasn’t protected by a password or some other safeguard. Entry to the database was eliminated, however, by then the knowledge had been out within the open for almost two weeks. Somebody had additionally made the info out there for obtain on a hacker discussion board, in keeping with Comparitech, a UK technology analysis agency that labored with Diachenko.

Facebook’s new privacy mishaps raise questions on whether or not the corporate is doing sufficient to guard the info of its billions of customers. It is also one other reminder that customers need to be cautious about what data they make public on the social community. This is not the primary time a safety researcher has uncovered a database crammed with Fb person information. The revelation additionally comes after UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the info of as much as 87 million Fb customers without their consent. Fb has confronted different privateness woes corresponding to storing a whole bunch of tens of millions of passwords in the plain textual content.

Comparitech mentioned the uncovered Fb information places customers in danger for spam and phishing campaigns. A Facebook person ID accommodates distinctive numbers that can be utilized to determine an individual’s Facebook username and different profile data.

Diachenko thinks that criminals in Vietnam obtained personal information by two attainable methods. They might have exploited Facebook’s software programming interface, or API, that lets builders entry information corresponding to their associates listing, pictures and teams. This may need to have occurred earlier than Fb restricted entry to personal cell phone numbers in 2018 or afterward due to an attainable safety gap. Criminals might have additionally used automated expertise to scrape the knowledge from public Fb profiles.

In an email, Diachenko mentioned the welcome web page and dashboard linked to the database included a Vietnamese invitation asking for a login and password. It seems that the database was set to public by mistake as a result of “there are not any good causes to publicly expose this information,” he mentioned.

A Fb spokesman mentioned in an announcement that the corporate is trying into the difficulty however thinks the info was probably harvested earlier than it made modifications to higher safeguard person data corresponding to proscribing entry to cell phone numbers.

To assist shield your Fb information from getting scraped, you possibly can change your privateness settings so SERPS exterior of Fb cannot hyperlink to your profile. You can also deactivate or delete your Fb account.

Unprotected public databases have been an issue for Fb. In April, safety researchers from UpGuard discovered greater than 540 million Fb person information, together with feedback and likes, in a public database on Amazon’s cloud servers. In September, TechCrunch reported on a server that contained a number of databases crammed with greater than 419 million Fb information from customers within the US, UK, and Vietnam. Fb, although mentioned the server contained roughly 220 million information. The most recent uncovered database included comparable Fb person information but it surely is not identical, Diachenko mentioned.

In September, one other safety researcher discovered an identical database with Fb person information. It is unclear if the identical individual or group is posting Fb person data on-line.

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Technology

CES 2020: Where have the tech companies gone?

CES actually doesn’t stand for Client Electronics Present anymore. The commerce present was as soon as the unique province of devices, gizmos and the newest and best personal-technology instruments, however, that has modified over time. The 2020 version, which might be held subsequent week, reveals how far these modifications have come — from keynote speeches to exhibitor cubicles, the annual weeklong high-tech bacchanal might be distinguished as a lot by automakers and airways as chipmakers and laptop producers.

This alteration has been taking place for years — the title was modified from the Client Electronics Present to simply CES in 2016 — however, for a sign of how a lot has modified in the previous 12 months, have a look at the keynote lineup. In 2019, executives from blue-chip tech big Worldwide Enterprise Machines Corp. IBM, -0.59% and chip maker Superior Micro Gadgets Inc. AMD, -0.12% delivered the highest keynote speeches. Of their place, these 12 months are Delta Air Traces Inc. DAL, -2.09%, Daimler-Benz, Unilever ULVR, +0.23% and startups like Unattainable Meals and Quibi.

“Why is our airline at CES? We imagine innovation is core to our mission,” Delta Chief Government Ed Bastian instructed MarketWatch, alluding to his second keynote look in Las Vegas. “Tech, social media, Instagram. They have a pull on our clients [some 200 million a year].”

Unattainable Meals CEO Pat Brown added: “It’s necessary to be at CES as we construct a brand new expertise platform for producing meals. This present brings tech and shoppers collectively.”

Among the business’s marquee names — Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.07%, former keynote staple Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -0.56% and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -1.08%, for instance — proceed to skip the present. Fb Inc. FB, -0.05% and Instagram executives will maintain a briefing with reporters Tuesday on enterprise prospects in 2020, however, their main product push takes place within the spring. Nvidia Corp. NVDA, -1.13% and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGLE, +0.16% GOOG, +0.22% Google, which have been main gamers at CES lately, have scaled again operations for 2020.

“CES is a good present, and we’ll be there once more this 12 months — simply not with a keynote,” an Nvidia spokesman instructed MarketWatch. “[CEO] Jensen [Huang] has spoken on a number of massive levels in current weeks, and he’ll be again at CES sooner or later.” (Nvidia, which has hosted occasions for greater than 5 years by way of 2019, will concentrate on gaming, autonomous autos and robotics at CES 2020.)

Whereas home firms have loads of alternatives to market themselves stateside, worldwide firms like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. 005930, +0.54% and Huawei Applied sciences Co. Ltd. are profiting from the large stage in Las Vegas.

Certainly, CES maintains its mantle because of the nation’s preeminent tech convention. An estimated 170,000 folks, 60,000 from outdoors the U.S., are anticipated to attend, roughly identical as in 2019. Some 4,500 exhibitor cubicles might unfold throughout the Las Vegas Conference Heart, accommodations and off-site places alongside the Strip.

“We’re undeterred by any macroeconomic considerations,” Karen Chupka, government VP of the Client Expertise Affiliation, which hosts CES, instructed MarketWatch in a cellphone interview.

The altering composition of CES headliners underscores a protracted and regular transformation to historically non-tech firms as they develop digital platforms internally, Chupka mentioned, pointing to the increasing presence of Delta, Procter & Gamble Co. PG, -0.21%, and Deere & Co. DE, -1.13%. One controversial speaker, Ivanka Trump, will talk about the way forward for work on Tuesday.

Accordingly, the mega-trends have shifted to 5G expertise — AT&T Inc. T, +0.63% and T-Cell US Inc. TMUS, -0.90% stay massive CES gamers — and synthetic intelligence, with what Chupka calls an emphasis on business-to-business-to-consumer options.

There’ll nonetheless be loads of high-definition televisions, sensible home equipment and futuristic automobiles at CES. And the standard roster of tech-sector contributors — Samsung, Intel Corp. INTC, -0.64% and Sony Corp. SNE, -1.23%, for instance — are again with mega-booths, press conferences, and behind-the-scenes conferences.

Samsung is internet hosting its first CES keynote speech since 2016 on Monday night, and a primary has a look at new client electronics merchandise on Sunday night. Samsung, Sony, Toshiba Corp. TOSYY, -0.09%, and LG Electronics Inc. 066570, +0.14%, in the meantime, are returning with sizable cubicles.