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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.

Cyber crime, U.S. programming
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)

Next Story

Facebook Commits $130 mn to Build Global Oversight Board for Ensuring Accountability

Facebook intends to continue funding the board's operations in the future, and these reports will be used to assess the need for additional, substantive and long-term funding

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Facebook
Facebook said it has established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations. Pixabay

Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to build a global oversight board that will ensure good governance and accountability across its services and platforms.

The initial funding will cover operational costs such as office space, staff and travel expenses and should allow the board to operate for at least its first two full terms, approximately six years, Brent Harris, Director of Governance and Global Affairs at Facebook, said in a statement.

The board will submit a yearly budget to the trust for approval and disbursement of funds.

Annual reports from the board and trust will help to document the health and effectiveness of the board, including its stewardship of these resources.

Facebook intends to continue funding the board’s operations in the future, and these reports will be used to assess the need for additional, substantive and long-term funding.

Last November, Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his vision for what content governance should look like for Facebook.

Facebook said it has established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations.

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Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to build a global oversight board that will ensure good governance and accountability across its services and platforms. Pixabay

“The board will have its own staff, independent from Facebook. To start, we expect this staff to include a director, case managers and dedicated staff members (or contracted services) who can support things such as the board’s communications, legal, human resources and research needs,” said Harris.

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In addition, said Facebook, it will continue to work with outside experts to source and review candidates for board membership, including those who’ve been recommended through the public portal, which we opened in September.

“We are eager to see the Oversight Board take shape and start hearing cases next year,” said Facebook. (IANS)