50 thousand Instagram and Facebook users may have been spied on

Meta (Facebook) reported that it has banned seven companies for using their platforms to spy on about 50,000 users, including activists, politicians, journalists, celebrities and ordinary people in more than 100 countries.

These seven companies cited by Meta, including two with operations in Mexico, were linked to 1,500 Facebook and Instagram accounts that were used to collect people’s information. Through these accounts, an attempt has been made to lure users into handing over confidential personal information and thus being able to install spyware on their devices, according to the report provided by Meta.

Mexicans suffer from cyber-espionage attack from Pegasus on WhatsApp

The practice of espionage through social networks is known as “surveillance for a fee” or “surveillance on demand”.

On the other hand, Meta confirmed that it has notified all users who have found out that they could be victims of spying, and they have also confirmed that 1,500 accounts caught in this malicious activity have been completely deleted from their platforms.

Companies Banned by Meta (Facebook)

Among the seven companies that Meta has discovered are:

Citrox, a company operating in North Macedonia that develops and publishes “exploits” to silently hack and steal the contents of the victim’s phone. These information thefts can range from call logs and text messages to emails, location data, and more.

Meta found that the company used a large infrastructure of web domains that mimic legitimate news sites to target the iPhone and Android devices of its victims.

spider web techniques, a US-based Israeli company that was responsible for collecting data and information on targets through public and “dark web” websites. Meta found evidence of attacks against activists, politicians and government officials in Hong Kong and Mexico. About 200 accounts that operated under the leadership of this company have already been canceled.

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black cube, an Israeli company with offices in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. This company became famous after it was discovered that Harvey Weinstein had hired their “Paid Surveillance” services to attack women who accused him of sexual assault. Meta has already deleted 300 Facebook and Instagram accounts related to the company.

cognet, an Israeli company involved in tracking location data for mobile applications, as well as running a special intelligence service, which involves creating fake social media profiles to collect information from journalists and politicians around the world. Clients were detected in Israel, Serbia, Colombia, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, Jordan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Bluehawk CI, an Israeli company made up of former Mossad intelligence specialists. Among his targets were figures from the mining, energy and medical industries, as well as Palestinian activists. Meta 100 has canceled an account linked to the company.

Bill Truex, a company from India that was responsible for sending malicious links to collect data. Among its targets were several government officials and two US companies (KKR and Muddy Waters).

Business Unknown in China, which was responsible for developing monitoring software and facial recognition software for iOS and Android.

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