Facebook sues Ukrainian — accusing him of collecting and selling data of 178M users

The American company Facebook is suing Oleksandr Solonchenko, a resident of Ukraine, accusing him of collection and subsequent sale of a huge amount of data. The trial will be held in California. AIN.UA editor briefly explains the case.

  • According to Business Insider, Oleksandr Solonchenko, called the “Ukrainian hacker,” has collected the data of 178 million users of Facebook Messenger, using a vulnerable feature of Facebook Messenger called “contact importer.” Following the explanation of the topical Telegram channel, this vulnerable feature allowed to input random phone numbers and then, through the import contacts feature, to see the corresponding UID social network’s codes.
  • He has created a program emulating the work of the Android app and has got access to the users’ data. According to Facebook’s official statement from January 2018 to October 2019, the suspect has collected information of 178 million users. After having processed the data, he put it for sale on Raid Forums and other places where people buy and sell illegally collected user data from various services. According to Business Insider, Facebook has evidence showing that Solonchenko was the one who sold the data.
  • It is unknown how much was earned by the Ukrainian hacker. We know that he was using solomame and barak_obama nicknames on Darknet.
  • This is not the first such incident. Previously, hackers scraped data for 533 million users through the same feature as Solonchenko used and posted it in a hacking forum. We have reported on that leak before.