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We are Not Listening Your Private Conversations, Says Instagram Head

Mosseri also said that the company is working on a policy for “deepfakes”

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram is neither listening to your private conversations nor reading your posts, its CEO Adam Mosseri has stressed.

In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, the Instagram chief said several people have this question why do they see ads on Instagram they have not searched for.

“But we don’t look at your messages, we don’t listen in on your microphone, doing so would be super problematic for a lot of different reasons. But I recognize you’re not gonna really believe me,” Mosseri was quoted as saying.

There are two ways that can happen.

“One is dumb luck, which can happen. The second is you might be talking about something because it’s top of mind because you’ve been interacting with that type of content more recently,” he told the “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.

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FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

“It’s top of mind, maybe it’s subconscious and then it bubbles up later. I think this kind of thing happens often in a way that’s really subtle,” he added.

Mosseri also said that the company is working on a policy for “deepfakes”.

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“We are not going to make a one-off decision to take a piece of video down just because it’s of Mark and Mark happens to run this place. That would be really inappropriate and irresponsible,” Mosseri said.

“Deepfakes” are video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did, like the popular forged video of Facebook CEO Zuckerberg that went viral recently. (IANS)

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Chennai-Based Security Researcher Wins $30,000 after He Spotted Flaw in Instagram

He discovered it was possible to take over someone's Instagram account by triggering a password reset

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Muthiyah said the vulnerability allowed him to to "hack any Instagram account without consent permission." Pixabay

Chennai-based security researcher Laxman Muthiyah has won $30,000 as a part of a bug bounty programme after he spotted a flaw in Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram.

Muthiyah said the vulnerability allowed him to to “hack any Instagram account without consent permission.”

He discovered it was possible to take over someone’s Instagram account by triggering a password reset, requesting a recovery code, or quickly trying out possible recovery codes against the account.

“I reported the vulnerability to the Facebook security team and they were unable to reproduce it initially due to lack of information in my report. After a few email and proof of concept video, I could convince them the attack is feasible,” Muthiyah wrote in a blog post this week.

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Chennai-based security researcher Laxman Muthiyah has won $30,000 as a part of a bug bounty programme after he spotted a flaw in Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram. Pixabay

Facebook and Instagram security teams fixed the issue and rewarded me $30,000 as a part of their bounty programme, he added.

Paul Ducklin, Senior Technologist at cyber security major Sophos, however, warned while the vulnerability found by Muthiyah no longer existed, users should familiarise themselves with the process of getting back control of their social media accounts, in case they get hacked.

“In case any of your accounts do get taken over, familiarise yourself with the process you’d follow to win them back. In particular, if there are documents or usage history that might help your case, get them ready before you get hacked, not afterwards,” Ducklin said in a statement.

Muthiyah earlier identified not only a data deletion flaw, but also a data disclosure bug on Facebook.

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The first bug could have zapped all your photos without knowing your password; the second meant tricking you to install an innocent-looking mobile app that could riffle through all your Facebook pictures without being given access to your account.

“To be clear: he found those holes in compliance with Facebook’s Bug Bounty programme, and he disclosed them responsibly to Facebook,” Ducklin said.

“As a result, Facebook was able to fix the problems before the bugs became public, and (as far as anyone knows) these bugs were patched before anyone else found them,” he remarked. (IANS)