"The hackers offered to sell access for 10 cents per account". These hackers were also only able to obtain Facebook conversations - snippets of text sent between users - rather than users' personal information that's stored on Facebook servers. Behind the scenes, though, the extension would connect to Facebook and steal information from a victim's logged in account.
FBSaler first marketed this database on an underground hacking forum called BlackHatWorld where the seller stated that "We sell personal information of Facebook users". The report stated that in addition to the 81,000 accounts whose private messages were leaked online, data from additional 176,000 accounts were also made available but email addresses and phone numbers could have been scraped from members who not hidden it.
"We have contacted browser makers to ensure that known malicious extensions are no longer available to download in their stores and to share information that could help identify additional extensions that may be related", Facebook's vice president of product manager, Guy Rosen, said in a statement.
It is believed that numerous user details came from Russian Federation and Ukraine-based Facebook users although some messages also originated from people in the United States, the UK and Brazil, the BBC notes.
"One example included photographs of a recent holiday, another was a chat about a recent Depeche Mode (British rock band) concert and a third included complaints about a son-in-law", the report said. Rosen said the social network had notified law enforcement, had the website hosting the Facebook account data had been taken down.
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"Browsers like Chrome can be very secure, but browser extensions can introduce serious gaps in their armour". This hack apparently has nothing to do with the most recent hack of Facebook data that was widely publicised in September.
There was also an intimate correspondence between two lovers.
Trojans and malicious browser extensions stealing Facebook data is nothing new as BleepingComputer has reported on them in the past.
India tried its luck by asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the Cambridge Analytica breach, but we all know how that panned out.