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Social Media Hacking
On the contrary ethical hackers protect people and companies data and their activity is fully permitted by the hiring company. Nowadays, a new group is also emerging as ‘Grey hackers', who doesn't work on a salary basis.
It's a huge worry for a layman to know that these hackers hack individual social media accounts and sell the information to companies for their marketing activities.
Is it so easy to hack anybody's social media account? Maybe!, the media is full of such reports where data thieves breach into the server and got access to millions of records with private information.
The hosting companies release an advisory to their clients, not to lick any phishing-looking link, carefully check email spoofing. The customers unknowingly enter their credentials to phishing pages, which goes to hacker's database. Even hackers use attractive, eye-catchy, fascinating images to lure the visitors to click and that it, the visitor's device gets infected and finally comes under the control of a hacker, who can then read any message.
The social media companies are aggressive to control such kind of attacks.
Facebook – Page Publishing Authorization
(August 10, 2018) Facebook requires the US audience to go through an additional “Page Publishing Authorization” to make it harder for people to administer a fake or compromised account. It would require Page managers to secure account using two-factor authentication and verify location. The facebook would show a list of countries of the page managers and how many managers hail from each state.
The page Admin would receive notice at the top of News Feed directing to begin the authorization process. Once the authorization is submitted, only then, they would be allowed to post on Pages. It also informs the Page Admins to know why it is done and what steps they have to take. Hence, it would be more difficult for a third-party to hijack an account. Furthermore, these continued efforts would increase the authenticity and transparency of pages on the platform. Under Page History, it would show when the page merged with another. The company wants to prevent the organizations and individuals to mislead people by creating an account.
The Facebook found evidence of possible Russia-linked influence campaigns on its network to influence the U.S. midterms. The company removed 8 Facebook Pages, 17 Facebook profiles, and 7 Instagram accounts as a result of its findings.
(October 30, 2019) WhatsApp, messaging app company filed a lawsuit in US district court against NSO Group. WhatsApp demands the court order an injunction and barring the group from using WhatsApp and Facebook and requests damages. It published an op-ed in The Washington Post blaming the Israeli Spyware surveillance company, NSO Group, allegedly tried to Hack and spying 1,400 WhatsApp users from April 29 and May 10.
An Israeli company provides technology to licensed government intelligence, and law enforcement agencies deny the accusations and plan to fight them. The NSO group told PCMag in an email that their technology not designed or licensed for use against human rights activists and journalists. The technology helps to fight terrorism and serious crime.
According to Citizen Lab, a watchdog group from the University of Toronto, the targeted user were human rights activists, journalists, and other members of civil society groups who helped WhatsApp investigate the hacks. The users were based in 20 countries ranging from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. WhatsApp notified users and also called major tech firms to join a United Nations' expert call for a moratorium on the sale of surveillance software until safeguards can be put in place to prevent human rights violations.
According to the lawsuit, they exploited the scary vulnerability in the iOS, and Android versions of the messaging app that could send and install spyware to the victim enabled WhatsApp phone directly with a voice call. Even no pickup of the call was required. The Israeli company has been tied to a specific strain known as Pegasus, capable of recording phone calls, stealing files, tracking the device's location, and secretly snapping photos.
Although WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption, the technology only scrambles your messages while they travel through the app's pipeline. All the content will eventually get decrypted when it arrives on WhatsApp client.
WhatsApp claims that NSO Group created fake WhatsApp accounts using phone numbers in countries such as Brazil, Cyprus, Israel, and the Netherlands, among others. Furthermore, attackers associated with NSO leased servers and internet-hosting services from companies, including Amazon Web Services, to distribute the spyware packages on the mobile messaging app to victims' smartphones.