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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.

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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)

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Mark Zuckerberg Not Going to Sell WhatsApp or Instagram

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker's call to break his company, saying he's not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram

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Mark Zukerberg, Facebook, Instagram, Sell, Business
Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process. VOA

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker’s call to break his company, saying he’s not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram at any cost.

Senator Josh Hawley (Missouri Republican) tweeted that he met Zuckerberg during his visit to Washington, DC on Thursday, and asked him to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Just finished meeting with @facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Had a frank conversation. Challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition. 1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship. He said no to both,” tweeted Hawley, one of Facebook’s biggest critics.

Zuckerberg also met President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

“Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of @Facebook in the Oval Office today,” tweeted Trump.

This is Facebook CEO’s first public trip to Washington since he testified before House and Senate committees in April last year over Cambridge Analytica data scandal affecting 87 million users globally.

According to media reports, Zuckerberg met several lawmakers this time and discussions included allegations that Facebook curtails conservative speech.

Mark Zukerberg, Facebook, Instagram, Sell, Business
Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker’s call to break his company, saying he’s not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram at any cost. Pixabay

As the chorus grows to break up Facebook, the social networking platform’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently said that it won’t serve any purpose.

“You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” she had said earlier.

Several US senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

ALSO READ: Scientists Reform Face Of Another Human Ancestor

Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated”.

Another Democratic 2020 candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process. (IANS)