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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

US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps -- primarily social media management and video streaming apps -- retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also Read: I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)