An automated account of Telegram, popularly known as a bot, claims to have the phone numbers of more than 500 million Facebook users.
This security flaw in the social network, which allowed to see the phone number of the users of the social network linked to the account, resulted in creating a database with information from people from different countries.
As the co-founder and CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, Alon Gal, explains, that data is available on a Telegram bot.
The person who created it allows users to pay a fee credit-based view phone numbers that will later allow them to access certain user accounts.
This search can also be done in two ways: if the user already has the phone number, they can obtain the user ID of the social network; whereas if you have the identifier you can get the phone number.
The bot has been operational since at least January 12, but its records date back to 2019.
According to the Motherboard site, which verified the authenticity of the leak and spoke with the Hudson Rock researcher, this bot claims to have user data from users from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and 15 other countries.
For its part, Facebook assured that media that the vulnerability that allowed this mobile phone leak was fixed in August 2019.
What are and how do Telegram bots work?
Telegram bots are a series of third-party applications that run within the messaging application. No need to install or do anything outside of the Russian application environment, since they are integrated in a way that they are used as if a real person were operating on the other side.
They are also multiplatform, and can be used in the Telegram version of the mobile operating system -Android or iOS- that the user chooses.
Unlike the sophisticated it may sound, the operation of these robots is quite simple.
First, you have to search for them as if they were another type of user, using the at sign together with the name (@YourName) or from the internal Telegram search engine. There is also the possibility of doing it from a link that leads you directly to open a conversation with them.
Telegram, the app developed by Pável Dúrov. Photo: Bloomberg
When you start a conversation with a bot, you will only see a description of how it works. Below you will have to press a button that says Start, and that serves to automatically send the start command of the Bot.
In doing so, the bot will respond with a message explaining its operation again and telling you the main commands to start using it.
After the initial configuration, the user will be able to start using the options provided by the bot.
Depending on the type, other commands may appear in your responses to navigate your content menu and messages. The same thing happens with the type of content, such as the functions, that one can find depends on each bot and what it was designed for.