Hacked accounts of 2 billion people have been accessed by cybercriminals for the past several months, experts from the US-based cybersecurity firm Enigma Security told Business Insider.
“This includes accounts belonging to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter,” the firm said.
The hacktivist group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attacks on Facebook in early February, claiming that it had stolen information from the company.
“These data breach are being carried out by a group called Anonymous.
Anonymous has targeted the security of all Facebook users and users of all major social networks,” the group said in a statement, claiming responsibility for a series of recent attacks.
Anonymous also claimed responsibility on Twitter and Instagram.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Enigma said it believed that the attacks were being carried by “a well-organized group of criminal hackers who are targeting several social networks and are using a variety of different techniques.”
The firm’s report did not reveal how many accounts were compromised, but it did say that a “large number” of Facebook accounts were accessed.
In addition, Enigmas report said that several accounts were linked to a large number of other accounts that were used to communicate via Telegram.
The firm said that it did not know how many people had been affected by the hacks, but said that “a large number” had been impacted by “several thousand” accounts.
“It is possible that the vast majority of accounts were affected in this manner, as the number of accounts in our database is quite large,” the report said.
One of the largest of the affected accounts was that of journalist, David Koehler, who has been a prominent figure in the US and other nations media industry.
“As of today, we have uncovered approximately 50,000 Facebook accounts for use by David Koeshler,” the Enigmase report said, noting that “severall accounts in Koesler’s personal Facebook account were accessed and he has been compromised.”
The hacker group Anonymous also claims responsibility for recent attacks on Twitter, including one that took down a major US news site, The Verge, and several others in January.
Enigma has also warned that it has found “massive” evidence that Russian government hackers are using social media to spy on its users.
“We are now in the process of tracking down and recovering hundreds of thousands of accounts that have been hacked,” the company said.
Facebook is currently working to restore the accounts, but Koehl said that he will not be “completely happy” with what he sees as a lack of action.
“The Russian government is trying to use Facebook to spy against me,” he told BusinessInsider.
“I think that they have a pretty good grasp on what is going on in my world and they’re doing it to try and get something out of me, but I’m not happy about it.”