Telegram bot lets hackers look up your phone number easily
Hackers and other unscrupulous elements are now able to use a popular chat application to look up a database of phone numbers of Facebook users whose data was compromised in a data breach two years ago, according to reports.
An unsecured server was found in 2019 by a researcher, who discovered that 419 million records were present - these included over 150 million users in total from the United States and the United Kingdom. It is believed that a bot on the popular chat application Telegram is being used to look up and discover the contact details of Facebook users, according to Vice.
The report states that the bot is quite straightforward in its approach, asking users to enter the phone number they want to look up in exchange for the Facebook user ID, or perform a sort of ‘reverse search' and find out a users number by entering only their Facebook ID. Given that over 400 million users' data were part of that unsecured database, it is likely that many people you know would have their data publicly available via this bot.
The bot also reportedly claims to provide details of users in 19 countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia, and asks for “credits” to reveal the initially redacted phone number. During Vice's tests with the bot, it was confirmed that the bot returned the phone number of a user who usually kept their number private.
The report goes on to say that Facebook has claimed that the bot does not work on any Facebook IDs that were created after the company fixed the vulnerability. However, it still leaves all the other accounts created before 2019 in the dark, as their data is now accessible to cyber criminals and other elements who simply need access to Telegram and some money to spare.