Sci-tech

Facebook user data exposed by unsecured S3 buckets

Facebook user data exposed by unsecured S3 buckets”

"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".

Facebook app developers left hundreds of millions of user records exposed on publicly visible cloud servers, researchers from security firm UpGuard said today.

However, Facebook's issues are illustrated by the episode with controlling its own users' info, especially once it is in the palms of programmers. The data was only taken offline recently. A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement the company is continuing to assess the extent of the information that was available and how people might have been impacted.

It's the latest data lapse involving the social media giant since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, which saw more than 87 million Facebook user records scraped without consent by the United Kingdom -based political data firm.

According to the report from UpGuard, a Mexican company called Cultura Colectiva stored 146 gigabytes of data with Amazon cloud services. Both had been secured by Wednesday, UpGuard said. "Facebook's policies prohibit storing Facebook information in a public database".

The databases were out of a media firm called and out of an app.

Though the information on the servers was eventually removed once Facebook was contacted, it is not known how long the data was available to the public - or who may have accessed it.

Chris Vickery, Director of Cyber Risk Research at UpGuard, said, "The public doesn't realize yet that these high-level systems administrators and developers, the people that are custodians of this data, they are being either risky or lazy or cutting corners".

The British analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, got access to data from more than 87 million users; and Facebook last September said that an attack on its networks exposed information from almost 50 million users. The problem? These app and game developers had uploaded thousands of pieces of data to a publicly accessible Amazon AWS server.

The company later announced changes to the platform aimed at protecting user data.



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