Tuesday April 23, 2019
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Cyber Thugs Running ‘Criminal Flea Market’ on Facebook

Talos said it continues to cooperate with Facebook to identify and take down as many of these groups as possible

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FILE - The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

The US cyber intelligence firm Cisco Talos has discovered 74 Facebook groups – touted as “online criminal flea market” — that were buying and selling stolen credit card information and cybercrime tools.

The groups, with approximately 385,000 members, promised to carry out “an array of questionable cyber dirty deeds, including the selling and trading of stolen bank/credit card information, the theft and sale of account credentials from a variety of sites, and email spamming tools and services”.

The majority of these groups use fairly obvious group names, including ‘Spam Professional’, ‘Spammer & Hacker Professional’, and ‘Facebook hack (Phishing)’.

“Despite the fairly obvious names, some of these groups have managed to remain on Facebook for up to eight years, and in the process acquire tens of thousands of group members,” Cisco Telos said in a blog post on Friday.

A simple search for groups containing keywords such as ‘spam’, ‘carding’, or ‘CVV’ will typically return multiple results.

Cisco Telos alerted Facebook about these groups and the social media giant took down the majority of those.

“However new groups continue to pop up, and some are still active as of the date of publishing (Friday),” wrote Cisco Telos.

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A man types on a computer keyboard in front of displayed cyber code in this illustration picture. VOA

A Facebook spokesperson told CNET that these groups violated its policies against spam and financial fraud and have removed them.

Talos initially attempted to take down these groups individually through Facebook’s abuse reporting functionality.

While some groups were removed immediately, others only had specific posts removed.

Talos said it continues to cooperate with Facebook to identify and take down as many of these groups as possible.

Also Read- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Most Searched Politician on Internet

In April 2018, security reporter Brian Krebs alerted the social media site to dozens of Facebook groups wherein hackers routinely offered a variety of services including carding (the theft of credit card information), wire fraud, tax refund fraud and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

“Operating with impunity, these attackers relentlessly probe cyber-defences of enterprises everywhere.

“This is a high-stakes endeavour because an attacker with even the smallest foothold inside an organisation can do considerable damage,” said Cisco Telos. (IANS)

Next Story

Political ad Spend on Facebook Picks up in April

The 2019 Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19

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FILE - The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Political parties and their affiliates ramped up spending on social media ads ahead of the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for Tuesday, show data released by Facebook Ad Library.

Indians spent around Rs 7 crore for running political ads on Facebook and Instagram in the first 20 days of April, while the amount spent on these platforms in February-March was about Rs 10 crore.

Facebook’s Ad Library, a searchable database, includes ads related to politics and issues of national importance run on Facebook or Instagram.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliates continue to lead the ad spending on Facebook. The official BJP page took the top spot in the list of spenders on social media platforms. Of the Rs 1.3 crore that it spent on Facebook, Rs 44.32 lakh was spent during the week ending April 20.

The official Congress page on Facebook spent Rs 56.69 lakh during February-April 20.

However, supporters and affiliates of political parties account for most of the spending on the social media platforms.

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FILE – An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

For example, the pro-BJP pages — Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat (Rs 2.23 core), My First Vote For Modi (Rs 1.08 crore) and Nation with NaMo (Rs 1.20 crore) among others — spent much more than the Congress.

Similarly, the pro-Congress page “Bande Mein Hai Dum” spent Rs 2.59 lakh for drumming up support for the grand old party on Facebook and the Indian Youth Congress spent Rs 6.52 lakh on the social media platform.

Among the regional parties, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lead the spending table on Facebook.

Also Read- Warning for WhatsApp Users in UAE Issued: Report

On Twitter, the accounts spending over $100 during the past week belonged to BJP MLA from Mandawa Narendra Kumar, Mumbai Congress unit chief Milind Deora, Congress leader and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, BJD President Naveen Patnaik and the TN Youth Party.

The 2019 Lok Sabha election is being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. (IANS)