Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your iPhone’s Camera? Some Users Claimed

November 12th, 2019
It appears that Facebook at the center of yet another issue involving privacy. Reportedly, multiple iPhone users have come forward on social media complaining that the Facebook app secretly activates their smartphone's camera in the background while they scroll through their Facebook feeds or looking at the photos on the social network. As shown in the Twitter videos below, when users click

Posted in camera hack, cybersecurity, Facebook, Facebook Apps, facebook privacy, facebook security, iOS camera app, Privacy Breach, software bug | Comments (0)

Massive Facebook document leak gives ammunition to investigators

November 7th, 2019
A man in a T-shirt looks worried.

Enlarge / Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking about Facebook News in New York, Oct. 25, 2019. (credit: Drew Angerer | Getty Images)

Facebook is facing a new round of intense scrutiny worldwide after 7,000 pages of confidential files stemming from a lawsuit were made public yesterday. Those documents are not the ones California's attorney general needs, though, so separately, the company is also facing a court challenge demanding it produce more documentation for an investigation amid allegations of stonewalling.

The piles of leaked documents, which directly reference the company's questionable position on competition, are likely to be extremely helpful to the dozens of entities currently investigating Facebook on antitrust grounds. California, however, is conducting a privacy investigation.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday took to court seeking to have a subpoena against Facebook enforced. The petition (PDF) alleges Facebook failed to respond to repeated subpoenas and other legal requests for information related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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Posted in Facebook, Policy | Comments (0)

Facebook Groups API flaw exposed data to 100 developers, company says

November 6th, 2019
A wall of user photos form a Facebook logo at the company's data center in Lulea, Sweden.

Enlarge / A wall of user photos form a Facebook logo at the company's data center in Lulea, Sweden. (credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

More than a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light, Facebook is once again admitting that some developers have accessed user data that they should not have.

Facebook said in a developer post yesterday that it would be changing developers' access to a number of APIs, including Groups, after "roughly 100 partners" were found to have extra access. "We recently found that some apps retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API, for longer than we intended," the company said.

At least 11 developers accessed group members' information in the last two months, Facebook added. "Although we’ve seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted."

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Posted in Facebook, Policy, Privacy | Comments (0)

Facebook Reveals New Data Leak Incident Affecting Groups’ Members

November 6th, 2019
Facebook today revealed yet another security incident admitting that roughly 100 app developers may have improperly accessed its users' data in certain Facebook groups, including their names and profile pictures. In a blog post published Tuesday, Facebook said the app developers that unauthorizedly access this information were primarily social media management and video streaming apps that let

Posted in data leaked, Facebook, Facebook Data Breach, Privacy Breach | Comments (0)

Antitrust 101: Why everyone is probing Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

November 5th, 2019
Maybe this textbook is from the Ma Bell era? #ThanksStockGettyImages

Enlarge / Maybe this textbook is from the Ma Bell era? #ThanksStockGettyImages (credit: designer491 / Getty Images)

Once upon a time, there was a phone company—or rather, the phone company. AT&T Corp., the venerable "Ma Bell," provided nearly all telephone service to nearly all Americans for decades... until it didn't. The company infamously broke up on New Year's Day in 1984, splitting into the seven "Baby Bells," regional carriers that could compete with other long-distance providers for consumer dollars.

The split wasn't just for funsies. The baby Bells were the ultimate result of a settlement between AT&T and the Justice Department, the culmination of an antitrust case that began nearly a decade earlier. It was the first time the feds broke up a communications company for antitrust reasons—and 35 years later, it retains the dubious distinction of being the last.

The decades of deregulation since the Reagan administration have brought us to a whole new era of massive corporate consolidation and the rise of a new wave of conglomerates in sectors that didn't even exist 40 years ago. The growth at the top in tech has been particularly stratospheric: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and a handful of others that have risen since the turn of the century now dominate our economy and our communications in a powerful way.

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Posted in amazon, antitrust, apple, big tech, DOJ, Facebook, Features, Federal Trade Commission, FTC, google, Justice Department, Policy | Comments (0)

No, you apparently can’t run for office just to put false ads on Facebook

October 30th, 2019
The Facebook app displayed on the screen of an iPhone.

Enlarge / The Facebook app displayed on the screen of an iPhone. (credit: Fabian Sommer | picture alliance | Getty Images)

Facebook about a month ago confirmed that politicians are exempt from its speech policies and ad standards. That policy frees up holders of political jobs, and candidates seeking those jobs, to, basically, lie their entire faces off in Facebook ads if they choose to do so.

The Internet and the 21st century being what they are, of course, many people greeted this news with responses along the lines of: "Does that mean I can just sign up for any local race and then put any ads I want on Facebook?" One man decided to find out. And so far, at least, the answer seems to be: No.

Adriel Hampton lives in California and runs a digital marketing firm that promotes progressive causes. On Monday, he formally registered as a candidate for the state's gubernatorial race, and his stated platform explicitly challenges both President Donald Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Posted in Facebook, Policy, political advertising, politics | Comments (0)

Facebook permanently deletes the accounts of NSO workers

October 30th, 2019
Extreme closeup photograph of a computer delete key.

Enlarge (credit: Ervins Strauhmanis / Flickr)

A day after Facebook-owned WhatsApp sued NSO Group, the social media platform has permanently deleted the accounts of employees who work at the Israel-based spyware maker, according to message boards and a security researcher who spoke to one worker.

"Your account has been deleted for not following our terms," said a message sent to one employee by Facebook-owned Instagram. "You won't be able to log into this account, and no one else will be able to see it. We're unable to restore accounts that are deleted for these types of violations."

A message Instagram sent to an NSO Group employee.

A message Instagram sent to an NSO Group employee.

The action comes after WhatsApp sued NSO Group on Tuesday for allegedly mass exploiting a critical vulnerability that targeted 1,400 devices with spyware. WhatsApp presented evidence that about 100 of the targets were lawyers, dissidents, human-rights advocates, and other members of civil society. The exploits allowed the attackers to install spyware on iOS and Android phones simply by making a video call to the device.

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Posted in Biz & IT, Facebook, NSO Group, Whatsapp | Comments (0)

WhatsApp suit says Israeli spyware maker exploited its app to infect 1,400 users

October 29th, 2019
Extreme closeup image of WhatsApp on smartphone.

Enlarge (credit: Christoph Scholz / Flickr)

Facebook and its WhatsApp messenger division on Tuesday sued Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group. This is an unprecedented legal action that takes aim at the unregulated industry that sells sophisticated malware services to governments around the world. NSO vigorously denied the allegations.

Over an 11-day span in late April and early May, the suit alleges, NSO targeted about 1,400 mobile phones that belonged to attorneys, journalists, human-rights activists, political dissidents, diplomats, and senior foreign government officials. To infect the targets with NSO's advanced and full-featured spyware, the company exploited a critical WhatsApp vulnerability that worked against both iOS and Android devices. The clickless exploit was delivered when attackers made a video call. Targets need not have answered the call or taken any other action to be infected.

Routing malware through WhatsApp servers

According to the complaint, NSO created WhatsApp accounts starting in January 2018 that initiated calls through WhatsApp servers and injected malicious code into the memory of targeted devices. The targeted phones would then use WhatsApp servers to connect to malicious servers allegedly maintained by NSO. The complaint, filed in federal court for the Northern District of California, stated:

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Posted in Biz & IT, exploits, Facebook, NSO Group, Policy, spyware, Whatsapp | Comments (0)

Facebook Sues Israeli NSO Spyware Firm For Hacking WhatsApp Users

October 29th, 2019
Finally, for the very first time, an encrypted messaging service provider is taking legal action against a private entity that has carried out malicious attacks against its users. Facebook filed a lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, alleging that the company was actively involved in hacking users of its end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp messaging service.

Posted in Cyber Attack, Facebook, hacking news, hacking WhatsApp, iPhone hacking, NSO Group, Pegasus, Whatsapp hacking, Whatsapp vulnerability, Whatsapp web | Comments (0)

Facebook’s new political-ad policy already showing cracks, loopholes

October 28th, 2019
A Facebook logo and

Enlarge / Thumbs down. (credit: Getty Images | Ted Soqui )

If you create a system, someone will try to game it—that's true of everything from Candyland to the tax code. And so we should be terribly surprised that Facebook—which is desperately trying to create some kind of coherent system for political advertising and speech as the United States careens headlong into the 2020 election season—already has players pushing to exploit loopholes in its policy.

Facebook confirmed earlier this month that—while it attempts to fact-check certain kinds of posts and articles—posts by politicians are exempt from review on that basis, as are ads posted by campaigns. But while the social media giant doesn't care if politicians lie outright in their ads, the company does have some standards: nobody, including politicians, is allowed to post ads that intentionally try to suppress voter turnout.

So when The Washington Post found a targeted ad campaign on Facebook seemingly designed to mislead voters, the paper had questions.

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Posted in Advertising, Facebook, Policy, politics | Comments (0)