Sep 4, 2019

Database leaked 419 million phone numbers scraped from Facebook

Photo: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A database of more than 419 million phone numbers taken from Facebook public profiles was accessible on the internet without any security, though it is now removed, reports TechCrunch.

The big picture: The database appears to have been compiled by an unknown group, taking advantage of users that kept their phone numbers in public profiles. Facebook stopped including phone numbers in public profiles last year.

Details: Researcher Sanyam Jain discovered the database and worked with TechCrunch to find a responsible party to secure the information from public view. While the database's owner could not be determined, the web host took the data down.

  • The database included 133 million Facebook users based in the U.S.
  • Though the collection of data had to have been compiled before Facebook removed phone numbers from profiles, TechCrunch found that the phone numbers still worked.

Why it matters: There's no evidence the document was discovered by a malicious party before the data was scrubbed from the web. But a massive list of phone numbers would make several forms of mischief easier.

  • That might include spam phone calls or hackers leveraging the numbers to take over accounts using a technique known as SIM swapping.

Go deeper... Report: Facebook ties names to authentication phone numbers

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Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.

Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest

President Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening that he is "mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military" to stop violent protests across the country, decrying "professional anarchists, looters, criminals, antifa and others" whose actions have "gripped" the nation.

The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."