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Quizzes used to hack data of 60,000 Facebook users

14 March, 2019, 02:12 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Ukrainian hackers used quizzes to leak over 60K Facebook users' data

In the complaint, the company has claimed that in total, both of these accused used Facebook users to use around 63 thousand browsers and damaged Facebook 75 thousand pounds.

The complaint says these hackers scraped public profile information and non-publicly viewable lists of friends, in addition to serving their own ads instead of official Facebook-approved ones. "Who is your yang?" and "What kind of dog are you according to your zodiac sign?" according to the lawsuit. Once users landed on these sites, they'd be prompted to enable push notifications in their browsers, which eventually led the same users to install various browser extensions.

It's been a roller coaster year for Facebook investors. By installing the app on their browsers, whenever they visit any social networking website, it will inject advertisements without their permission.

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 lawsuit claims that the developers breached the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act and committed fraud and breach of contract.


"Friday, Facebook filed a complaint against two developers based in the Ukraine for violations of our policies and other U.S. laws by operating malicious browser extensions created to scrape Facebook and other social networking sites".

Whether Facebook can expect any success from the suit is up in the air, given it can't compel Gorbachov or Sluchevsky to come to the United States to face trial.

"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.

From the implications of the lawsuit, Facebook may have allowed these hackers into their network by approving them as developers.

The hackers, Gleb Sluchevsky and Andrey Gorbachov, required users to download browser extensions to operate the quiz apps, which scraped data from Facebook pages and posted ads once they were loaded onto the browser. The defendant may not face serious consequences, but it will give Facebook the leverage to defend itself.

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