Meta searches for identities behind 39,000 phishing websites

In California, the company filed a lawsuit to expose the masterminds of a large-scale phishing campaign. With this, login data should be captured from WhatsApp and Instagram users, for example.

Meta wants to prevent large-scale phishing attacks and has therefore taken legal action. Criminals have built a phishing network with over 39,000 websites masquerading as login pages for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. On these websites, users were asked to enter their user names and passwords. In this way, the criminals could collect them and potentially sell them on. With a lawsuit Meta would like to put an end to this procedure – and uncover the identities of the perpetrators.

Relay Service allowed phishing websites to covertly target meta users

Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation bei Meta, explained in an official blog postreported that the attacks used a relay service – Ngrok in this case – to hide the fact that they were not official meta websites. Romero says:

As part of the attacks, Defendants used a relay service to redirect internet traffic to the phishing websites in a way that obscured their attack infrastructure. This enabled them to conceal the true location of the phishing websites, and the identities of their online hosting providers and the defendants. Starting in March 2021, when the volume of these attacks increased, we worked with the relay service to suspend thousands of URLs to the phishing websites.

The company has already been able to severely limit the effectiveness of the phishing websites. Nevertheless, a total of thousands of users are likely to have fallen victim to the attacks. Therefore, Meta is now taking legal action against the attackers, who have yet to be identified. The lawsuit aims to protect the security and privacy of users. The criminals should ultimately be held accountable. In addition, Meta would like to work proactively with hosting and service providers in order to interrupt phishing attacks at an early stage.

The entire application you can read it here.

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