Meta alerts 50 thousand users about targeting
Meta alerts 50 thousand users about targeting

The owner of Facebook Meta has warned 50,000 Facebook and Instagram users that their accounts are being monitored by paid commercial monitoring firms around the world.

The goal of monitoring companies is to collect information, manipulate their devices and accounts, and attack them online. Cost control service providers are located in China, Israel, India and North Macedonia.

Seven companies are targeting users in more than 100 countries/regions, according to an update posted on the Meta News page.

The company's targets have included journalists, dissidents, critics of authoritarian regimes, opposition families, and human rights activists. During months of investigation, Meta discovered and removed spy organizations on the platform and exposed surveillance activities.

"These companies are part of a huge industry that provides malware tools and random monitoring services to every customer," she wrote. It has nothing to do with the people it targets or the human rights abuses it could cause.

"The industry makes these threats accessible to everyone. It enables governments and NGOs that lack this capacity to take advantage of them," she added.

A more detailed threat report published by Meta lists six of the seven companies and lists one entity as an unknown entity.

Four of the seven companies - Cobwebs, Cognite, Black Cube and Bluehawk CI - are in Israel. The other three are in China, India and North Macedonia.

Tariffs affect the price table industry

Congressman Adam Schiff said that Facebook's disclosure of measures to disrupt and suppress seven private companies that sell surveillance services to human rights abuse regimes indicates the need for more action to stop the mercenary market.

"These companies pose a clear threat to human rights through the indiscriminate monitoring of journalists and political opponents," he added.

The Meta report also mentions the Israeli spyware company NSO Group, which is the subject of lawsuits from Apple and Meta for selling spyware used to destroy iPhone and WhatsApp messages.

Google researchers have released details of a vulnerability exploited by the NSO Group. The vulnerability used a message to compromise the target phone. The researchers claim that this attack capability matches that of government agencies.

The company has been blacklisted by the United States government for selling software used to monitor journalists around the world.

A group of lawmakers recently called for tougher penalties on a group of surveillance firms. Including the NSO Group, it will freeze the company's bank accounts and prevent employees from traveling to the United States.

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