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Ukrainian Hackers Used Online Quizzes to Leak Over 60K Facebook Users’ Data: Report

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a note outlining a vision of a more "privacy focused" social media giant

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Two Ukrainian men used online quizzes to lure more than 60,000 Facebook users into installing malicious browser extensions that leaked their profile data and friends lists to offshore servers, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the company.

Andrey Gorbachov and Gleb Sluchevsky allegedly used the browser extensions to overlay their own advertisements onto Facebook’s news feed when their victims visited through the compromised browsers, The Daily Beast reported on Friday.

Facebook, in its lawsuit filed on Friday, alleged that the Kiev-based entrepreneurs violated Californian and federal anti-hacking laws, and sued them for fraud and breach of Facebook’s terms of service.

The company also alleged that the scheme primarily targeted Russian-language victims.

“As a result of installing the malicious extensions, the app users effectively compromised their own browsers because… the malicious extensions were designed to scrape information and inject unauthorized advertisements when the app users visited Facebook or other social networking site,” the company wrote.

Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Both defendants are affiliated with a company called the Web Sun Group.

“In total, defendants compromised approximately 63,000 browsers used by Facebook users and caused over $75,000 in damages to Facebook,” the company claims in its civil complaint, citing the cost of rooting out the activity.

Also Read- China to Take Strict Steps in Order to Curb Online Pornographic Content

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a note outlining a vision of a more “privacy focused” social media giant.

“I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it,” he wrote. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook to Launch its Cryptocurrency Next Year: Report

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is gearing up to launch its own cryptocurrency next year, the BBC reported on Friday.

Called “GlobalCoin,” the cryptocurrency would work with a new digital payments system in about a dozen countries starting in the first quarter of 2020.

Facebook has been in contact with US and British financial regulators to launch it.

According to the BBC, Facebook is in touch with “Bank of England governor Mark Carney and officials at the US Treasury”.

With over two billion users across its platforms, Facebook could emulate WeChat in China which allows its users to chat, shop and play games without leaving its platform.

The Facebook cryptocurrency would need to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles before it can be launched.

According to media reports, the Facebook currency could be designed to be a “stablecoin” with a value pegged to US currency in an attempt to minimize volatility.

A report last week said Facebook has reportedly set up a company called Libra Networks in Switzerland that is developing payments and Blockchain systems for the social networking giant.

virtual currencies, bitcoin, investors
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. Wikimedia Commons

According to a report in CNET quoting Swiss publication Handelszeitung, the Facebook cyrptocurrency would be tied to the US dollar and could, therefore, remain stable unlike Bitcoin which has crashed.

“Facebook set up Libra Networks in Geneva several weeks ago. Libra is the social network’s internal project name for the digital currency,” the report said.

The Swiss company would focus on developing the software and hardware for currency-related functions like payments, Blockchain, analytics, big data and identity management.

Facebook declined to comment on the new report.

Also Read- Microsoft Interns Make English Learning App

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, the social media giant is “recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants” towards its cryptocurrency-based system that would use a digital coin similar to Bitcoin.

The New York Times reported in February that Facebook had a team of 50 people working on its virtual currency project.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain in February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps. (IANS)