Facebook owner Meta takes action against cyber threats in some countries

Meta Platforms, which controls the world’s largest social networking site, Facebook, took steps to remove accounts that violated its policies in an effort to prevent the spread of cyber threats, according to its new report.

In its first quarterly Report on contradictory threatsMeta-analysts have written about the risks of coordinated inauthentic behavior, online spying, mass reporting and other emerging issues in certain countries.

It broadens the scope of its action to deal with an increasingly dangerous Internet landscape and the use of social networks by individuals and groups in pursuit of illicit activities.

Meta’s public safety reporting began more than four years ago, when it shared findings regarding inauthentic behavior coordinated by the Russian Internet Research Agency.

“Since then, global threats have evolved significantly and we have expanded our ability to respond to a wider range of adversarial behaviors,” the analysts wrote.

“To provide a more comprehensive view of the risks we see, we are expanding our regular reports…all in one place, as part of the quarterly reports we test.”

So-called “bad actors” on the Internet have grown in number and scope, forcing businesses and individuals to be very careful about the content they interact with.

Taken together, these criminal activities are expected to inflict approximately $6 trillion worth of damage worldwide in 2021, according to a study by research firm Cybersecurity Ventures.

If it were to be measured as a country, it would be the world’s third largest economy behind the United States and China.

By 2025, illicit activities are expected to cost the world about $10.5 billion, up 250% from $3 billion in 2015, he said.

Meanwhile, global spending on IT security and risk management is estimated to have risen 12.4% to $150.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow in single digits through 2024, according to the research firm. Gartner.

Ukrainian spammers

Meta said it was on high alert during the Russian offensive in Ukraine to detect and disrupt threats and platform abuse, including attempts to bring back networks down.

He said that since the start of the war, tens of thousands of accounts, pages and groups have been taken down – a delicate task given the scale of the crisis.

“As is typical for major world events and critical societal issues, we are seeing scam artists around the world turn to the war in Ukraine to amass an audience and monetize everyone’s attention to this humanitarian crisis,” said Meta.

Notably, spammers have used tactics such as live gaming videos and reposting popular content from Ukraine as a way to impersonate to share live updates.

Some have repeatedly used different names to entice people to follow them so they can make money by driving people to websites full of off-platform ads or selling them merchandise.

Meta said in the report that it removed three spy rings – which typically trick people into gathering intelligence, manipulating them into revealing information and compromising their devices and accounts – from Iran and Azerbaijan.

He took action against the Iranian hacker group known as UNC788, which is also engaged in phishing and malware and is claiming casualties in the Middle East, the United States and among journalists.

Meta also tried to stop a hacking group, also Iranian, that targeted or usurped companies in the energy, information technology, marine, telecommunications and semiconductor sectors on all continents. .

We focus on behavior rather than content – no matter who is behind them, what they post or if they are foreign or domestic

Report on contradictory meta-platform threats

In Azerbaijan, Meta shut down a network operation that combined tools such as phishing, social engineering and hacking. He mainly focused on news websites and social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, Russian social platforms VK and OK.

In the Philippines, Meta took down a network of more than 400 accounts, pages and groups that worked together to violate policies against coordinated harm, bullying and harassment, hate speech, misinformation and incitement to violence , and evade law enforcement.

This network also offered cybersecurity services to protect the websites from attacks similar to those they themselves claimed to have carried out. They also claimed credit for destroying and defacing websites, primarily those of news entities.

In Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Russia, and Ukraine, Meta has monitored and taken action and removed four networks and hundreds of accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior, which Meta claims is an action to manipulate the public debate with a goal where fake accounts are at the heart of the operation.

In Brazil, 14 Facebook accounts, nine Pages and 39 Instagram accounts were deleted, while in Costa Rica and El Salvador, 233 Facebook accounts, 84 Pages, two groups and 27 Instagram accounts were deleted.

In Russia and Ukraine, Meta deleted 27 Facebook accounts, two pages, three groups and four Instagram accounts.

Meta said that when investigating and removing these operations, “we focus on the behavior rather than the content – it doesn’t matter who is behind them, what they post or if they are foreign or domestic “.

Updated: April 10, 2022, 5:30 a.m.

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