SAN FRANCISCO Dec 18,2021 – Facebook parent Meta has banned a series of “cyber mercenary” groups, and has also alerted some 50,000 people likely targeted by the firms accused of spying on activists, dissidents and journalists worldwide.
News agency reported that Meta took down 1,500 Facebook and Instagram pages linked to groups with services allegedly ranging from scooping up public information online to using fake personas to build trust with targets or digital snooping via hack attacks.
The social media giant also started warning about 50,000 people it believes may have been targeted in more than 100 nations by firms that include several from Israel, which is a leading player in the cybersurveillance business.
“The surveillance-for-hire industry… looks like indiscriminate targeting on behalf of the highest bidder,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Meta, told a press briefing.
The Facebook parent said it deleted accounts tied to Cobwebs Technologies, Cognyte, Black Cube and Bluehawk CI — all of which were based or founded in Israel, report further said.
India-based BellTroX, North Macedonian firm Cytrox and an unidentified entity in China also saw accounts linked to them removed from Meta platforms.