Facebook locks out 1,500 fake accounts used by cyber-spy firms to snoop on people, alerts 50k potential targets

Facebook successor Meta on Thursday said it canceled 1,500 social media accounts used by seven surveillance-for-hire firms to conduct online attacks against government critics and members of civil society.

These accounts were primarily used to observe targets and lure them into visiting malicious websites, or receiving booby-trapped messages, typically, that compromise their devices and online profiles. Tens of thousands of people potentially targeted by these groups have been privately alerted by Facebook.

The global surveillance-for-hire industry targets people to collect intelligence, manipulate and compromise their devices and accounts across the internet, said David Agranovich, director, threat disruption and Mike Dvilyanski, head of cyber espionage Investigations, in a blog post.

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