Meta sues hackers behind Facebook and Instagram phishing scam campaigns

Federal lawsuit gets filed to uncover particular people responsibly for scams on Meta platforms

Phishing sites impersonating Meta platforms foundMeta sues hackers who use phishing tactics to scam users

The meta company, known as Facebook before issued an announcement that states about a filed lawsuit in California court. The lawsuit takes action to uncover hackers running phishing scams on the platforms like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp.[1] Legal actions are needed to disrupt the attacks tricking people into sharing their personal details and login credentials on particular fake login pages on these social media platforms and messaging applications, according to the officials.[2]

Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, states:

This phishing scheme involved the creation of more than 39,000 websites impersonating the login pages of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. On these websites, people were prompted to enter their usernames and passwords, which Defendants collected.

Phishing attacks[3] are te scamming campaigns used to lure victims to particular websites where deceptive material triggers their interaction. These pages trick people into interesting their sensitive information like email addresses, passwords, credit card details. Meta states that almost 40 000 such websites were found. Impersonating these sites and asking for login information can lead to major issues. Especially when such campaigns and malicious scams have been on the rise.

Seeking $500,000 from threat actors

These social engineering campaigns involve the creation of these websites and masquerading as the particular page for Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger. Technology giant seeks to get $500,000 from these hackers for their activities carried out using the special relay service. This service redirect internet traffic to the phishing site in a way that obscured the infrastructure of the malicious attack.

Meta states that they started working with the relay service in march and tried to suspend these URLs hosting the phishing campaigns. At the same time when these attacks started to occur more often. Attacks used the particular relay service Ngrok that conceals the true location of the scam infrastructure when redirecting users.[4]

Stopping the abusers targeting users' sensitive information

The company tries to fight these hackers and protect people's safety and privacy. Abusing such popular programs is popular, and threat actors should get a clear message about accountability. meta already addressed various issues like this, including the surveillance-for-hire outfits that created fake accounts on social media like Facebook and Instagram to target users in 100 countries.[5]

This is part of a series of lawsuits filed by Facebook against various threat actors who target users and use the popularity of platforms to their advantage. In October 2019, Facebook filed a lawsuit against a domain name registration service that allowed others to registrate look-a-likes of Facebook at the time.

The same month Israel cyber-surveillance firm NSO group got sued for developing and selling the WhatsApp zero-day exploits. Later these vulnerabilities got used by the nation-state attackers who aimed and successes at the compromise of high-profile target devices. Government officials, journalists, diplomats suffered from these at the time.

March 2020 came with the news that Facebook sued another domain name registrar Namecheap and Whoisguard proxy service for the domain name registrations that deceive people. These deceiving companies, hackers, and malicious actors with the goals of phishing, fraud, and scams are noticed and Meta, apparently takes action against them to clear the name of the company and its products.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

Gabriel E. Hall is a passionate malware researcher who has been working for 2-spyware for almost a decade.

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