Connect with us

FACEBOOK

India’s Cyber Agency Cautions Facebook Users, Advises Greater Privacy After Global Data Leak

Published

on

India's Cyber Agency Cautions Facebook Users, Advises Greater Privacy After Global Data Leak

India’s cyber security agency CERT-In advised Facebook users to strengthen account privacy

New Delhi:

India’s cyber security agency CERT-In has advised Facebook users to strengthen their account privacy settings after a recent global ‘data scraping’ incident in the social media platform affected about 61 lakh Indians.

“As the Facebook platform evolves and grows, parts of your account could be public. Data could also be collected and shared in ways you don’t know about,” the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team or CERT-In said in a public advisory issued on Monday.

It is the federal technology arm to combat cyber attacks and guard the Indian cyber space against phishing and hacking assaults and similar online attacks.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“It has been reported that globally there has been a large scale leakage of Facebook profile information. The exposed information includes email addresses, profile ID, full name, job occupation, phone numbers and birth date.”

“According to Facebook, the scraped information does not include financial information, health information or passwords, however information from more than 450 million unique Facebook profiles globally, including approximately 61 lakh Indian individuals, has been made publicly available in multiple cyber criminal forums for free,” the advisory said while explaining the breach.

A cyber security expert had spoken about this online leak earlier this month, which was acknowledged by the company, stating that “this is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in August 2019”.

The CERT-In said that Facebook has claimed that this ‘data scraping’ happened by using the “contact importer” feature of the platform, which allows users to find other users by using their phone numbers.

See also  Facebook and Australian media company ACM sign content deal to feed news coverage on social ...

“Facebook stated that this feature was changed in September 2019, following the discovery that threat actors were abusing the feature.”

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“However, while Facebook modified the feature in 2019 to thwart this kind of abuse, the phone numbers of 450 million global users had already been harvested by malicious actors, along with other identifying information on users,” it said.

Dejargonising the term ‘data scraping’, the advisory said it refers to the process of using automated software or scripts to harvest public information from sites, such as any information users make publicly available in their profiles like names, city, occupation, among others.

“Cyber criminals may scrape data from sites for a variety of purposes, including spamming, information gathering and social engineering attacks.”

“They can also sell scrapped data for a profit to other cyber criminals, marketing companies or call centres,” it said.

The advisory, while asking users of this popular social media platform to follow good cyber hygiene practices, also said that Facebook has advised individuals to “make sure that their privacy settings reflect what information they want to share publicly and who they want to be able to look them by phone number”.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Facebook, it added, has also recommended account holders to enable two-factor authentication also know as 2FA.

It also recommended that users can consider changing their profile settings to “private” or “friends” only as data scrapers can use “public” information of an individual to “match and combine with data from other breaches to access even more of their personal information and accounts”.

See also  Is Facebook wisdom better than news shows?

It also asked users to adjust their settings to who can find and contact them on Facebook and consider whether to set them all to “friends” or stricter for stronger security.

In a similar incident reported in March 2018, Facebook data of over 5.62 lakh Indians was allegedly compromised as UK-based Cambridge Analytica had accessed information of about 87 million users globally.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now probing this data breach on charges of profiteering and manipulating elections by illegal harvesting of Indian user data.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

India is among the biggest markets for Facebook and its group companies, WhatsApp and Instagram and according to government data, the country has 41 crore Facebook users, 53 crore WhatsApp users and 21 crore users of Instagram.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Read More

FACEBOOK

Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

Published

on

By

facebook-meta-earns-the-‘worst-company-of-2021’-title-in-this-survey-–-news18
Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

See also  Facebook to shutter its facial recognition system, citing 'societal - USA Today

However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

Advertisement
free widgets for website
Continue Reading

FACEBOOK

Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

Published

on

By

facebook-pays-1.7-cr-fine-to-russia-after-failing-to-delete-content-moscow-deems-illegal

In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

See also  Big W partners with Facebook Messenger to offer first-of-a-kind brand experience

Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

Continue Reading

FACEBOOK

Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Published

on

By

Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

See also  Suit seeks to limit anti-Muslim speech on Facebook but roots of Islamophobia run far deeper

Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

Continue Reading

Trending