Theft of Italian Facebook accounts: how to try to defend yourself

Why in 2021 would anyone bother to steal data on Facebook? What is the goal of hackers targeting average Italian users? The answer is a bit complex, but it deserves our full attention. Basically yes, theft of Facebook accounts should be a concern.

The latest hit by web thieves goes further 533 million users, scrupulously "scratched" by Facebook and which now roam the web in lists available to the bad guys. You could also be on this extensive list, and not necessarily because you did something wrong. You may, for example, have forgotten to do – that is, to take all the necessary precautions.

The problem with these stolen account "lists" is that the hackers naturally make a big profit out of them. The hoard of stolen data is put up for sale to the highest bidder. And let's face it. Usually, those who buy this kind of account do not do it with the best of intentions.

About mid-February an Israeli cybersecurity researcher, Alon Gal - the same Gal who identified the Telegram hackers - discovered a database where it was possible to enter a code to receive the access data of the corresponding Facebook account. What's really scary is the fact that this database doesn't just include your credentials. Contains first and last name, phone number, email, relationship status, job position, group memberships and much more. If you think that something like this could never happen to you, well, think that according to what was reported by GQ and not only, it would have happened to Virginia Raggi too.

Facebook's reaction

In the face of these events, we often feel small and helpless. Small balls of dust huddled in a corner of a system that is too complex for us, ignorant of computer security, to really be able to do anything about. Facebook's words are not entirely reassuring, but they guarantee - to Motherboard's microphones - that the data refers to a vulnerability already resolved in 2019. The very funny thing is that up to that moment - and even today - Facebook had always invited its users to enter the phone number to improve the security of their account by one step.

Data stolen from Facebook accounts can turn into very dangerous little weapons in the wrong hands. People looking for an easy income can resell them, or blackmail you in a decidedly unpleasant way. Check out our article on SMISHING to know more.

Un identity theft can result in a ransom, in nothing or in a fraudulent use of our personal data. Many people have risked losing their jobs in accounting departments through dubious emails containing invoices to be paid by the end of the month. This particular data compromise goes by the name of BEC, or business email compromise, and often ends with an unsuspecting employee paying a guy a bill in a garage in Poland that he tried.

How can a cyber attack be remedied?

There is no secure internet for everyone. What we can do, however, is change our passwords frequently and choose the safest ones possible. Alongside a good policy of this type is also that of multi-factor authentication, in order to reduce as much as possible the percentage of attacks in which one could incur.

Is there another way to avoid the attack? The only truly 100% sure method is to remove yourself from social media. And we all agree that the solution, unfortunately, is not always feasible. Especially for those who, like us, work with these means every day.