Facebook sues Ukrainian hackers who stole user info via personality quizzes

Ukrainian hackers used quizzes to leak over 60K Facebook users' data

The accused, Gleb Sluchevsky and Andrey Gorbachov, are claimed to have promoted quizzes on Facebook, but when users clicked through, they were taken to an external site.

The apps scraped users' public info, like name, gender, age and profile picture, but also harvested private data like nonpublic lists of friends. Last week, Facebook filed a lawsuit against four Chinese companies that allegedly sold fake accounts and user engagement.

According to The Daily Beast, that appears from documents belonging to a federal lawsuit that the company started on Friday.

If a user then followed through and installed the malicious browser extension, the extension would gain access to the user's Facebook page.

"As a result of installing the malicious extensions, the app users effectively compromised their own browsers because... the malicious extensions were created to scrape information and inject unauthorized advertisements when the app users visited Facebook or other social networking sites", Facebook wrote.

In the period from 2016 to 2018 they compromised about 63 thousand browsers and Facebook have caused damage for the sum more than $75,000.

Facebook notes that it publicly announced the compromise around October 31st, which roughly matches the date of a BBC report revealing the private message breach, quoting Facebook blaming malicious browser extensions. The developer had used an online quiz app that connected to Facebook to gather the data. Last year, the BBC questioned whether Facebook had been proactive enough in addressing the malicious plugins.

The hackers were uncovered after they claimed to have access to 120 million Facebook accounts.

"Facebook was vulnerable to very similar types of attacks, which simply means that Facebook is really good for targeting particular users with advertising, so it makes the platform so valuable", Dan Patterson, senior producer at CNET, told CBSN.

The scheme seemingly wouldn't have worked, however, if Facebook hadn't approved the hackers as developers who could use its Facebook Login feature.

Speaking about the breach and the future of the social networking site, the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg outlined the company's plans to be more privacy-conscious. The defendant may not face serious consequences, but it will give Facebook the leverage to defend itself.



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