Facebook the famous social media network, is once again at the centre stage. According to the latest report published by Cisco Talos, the network would have become a host of spam and cyber fraud groups, among other illicit practices.
The latest scandals around this social network continue to rise, adding to this the recently published Talos report. The report says Facebook has become an open market for cybercriminals to offer shady or outright illegal services and tools.
During the past months, Cisco security teams discovered 74 Facebook groups whose members were carrying out illegal activities. Some of these groups represented a channel of purchase and exchange of data from stolen cards and credentials of hacked accounts. On the other hand, other groups formed forums to sell spam and phishing tools and services. In total, the community represented around 385,000 members who carried out illicit activities through these groups.
According to the Talos Report:
“This type of cybercrime groups are very easy to locate for any user of Facebook. With a simple search of groups that contain keywords “spam“, “carding” or “CVV” the platform shows multiple results. In addition, once you have located several kinds of these groups, the platform suggests similar groups, which facilitate finding these communities of cybercriminals. Facebook should be able to report and stop these illegal activities.
Talos researchers themselves tried to eliminate these groups through Facebook’s reporting functionality. Some of these groups were eliminated. However, others were saved, losing only some of their publications, since Facebook suppressed them. Finally, after contacting the security team of Facebook, the majority of these malicious groups were eliminated, however, there are not stop appearing new groups and others older are still maintained. Talos continues to work with Facebook to eradicate as many of these groups of cybercriminals as possible. “
Talos confirms that the 74 groups detected have been successfully suppressed. But, the fight against cybercrime continues, since those groups were eliminated, new ones emerged in a matter of days.
Talos was able to confirm that the detected groups carried out illicit practices and that the groups served as an online meeting place for cybercriminals. The discovery process consisted of monitoring those groups and collecting evidence to prove it. Even in one of the screenshots made by Talos you can see a publication of a Facebook User announcing a Spam email service aimed at Apple users, targeting Hotmail and Yahoo inboxes. The Talos researchers went even further and discovered that the spread of the same message reached numerous users with the cybercriminal profile. An analysis showed that the messages attached a malicious PDF file that appeared to be an Apple purchase invoice. By clicking on the link to view or cancel the order, users were redirected to a phishing website, worked meticulously to give credibility and real appearance of the Apple brand, falling into the scam this way.
By monitoring the groups, Talos discovered Facebook users who sold stolen credit card data from only $ 7 and other cards with “protection verified by Visa” for about $ 15. They also detected other users who were selling card data, CVV numbers, including email addresses and other services to create false IDs. In addition, it important to highlight that most cybercriminals were looking for payments in the form of cryptocurrencies.
Last year something similar happened, and Facebook appeared in the news again and eliminated almost 120 groups with more than 300,000 members. The manager of Talos said that Facebook is facing a difficult task to combat cybercrime. In addition, he said in his interview that these type of cybercriminals are dedicated to Facebook and just like a plague, difficult to eradicate.
Facebook declared that the groups violated the company’s spam policies, financial fraud and were therefore eliminated. The company is investing efforts and financial means in the fight against cybercrime on the social network. Facebook has 30,000 people around the world who are working on security and protection, three times more than in 2017. The combination of user reports, technology and human reviews are used to verify that all current policies are met.
A Facebook spokesperson said that after the Talos findings, users who were running the deleted groups were identified and their ability to create new Facebook groups in the future has been blocked.
Finally, the trend of cyber attacks is increasing through different means and strategies. Cybercriminals seek alliances and business anywhere, including social media.
To combat cybercrime, we have to work together, collaboratively. Social media platforms must continue their efforts, both manual and automated, aimed at identifying and eliminating malicious groups. And of course, users should be as informed as possible.
At ODS we are committed to cybersecurity in all digital media sources including social media. We help businesses and organisations protect their information. Do not wait any longer, it’s time to protect and enhance IT security of your business.