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Meta Business Services or a Scammer? Experts Uncover Massive Facebook Phishing Campaign Targeting Public Figures and Businesses



Meta Business Services or a Scammer? Experts Uncover Massive Facebook Phishing Campaign Targeting Public Figures and Businesses

NEW DELHI: Cybercriminals are who usually tried cheating common people are now attempting to phish celebrities, prominent figures, sports teams, businesses, and individual users, said a cybersecurity firm Group-IB in their latest blog. 

According to Group-IB Digital Risk Protection (DRP) experts, the campaign started in February and continues to run, with more than 3,200 fake profiles detected that impersonate the Facebook parent company Meta or its technical team.

The scammers use these profiles to trick victims into believing they are dealing with legitimate Facebook staff and steal account credentials, with a particular focus on public figures, celebrities, businesses, and sports teams.

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Group-IB has identified more than 220 phishing sites mimicking official Meta and Facebook webpages, which are created using cheap or free web platforms, to conduct both typical phishing and session hijacking attacks. After obtaining login credentials, the scammers can leverage a compromised account to harvest the credentials of other users, potentially increasing the number of victims exponentially.

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To lure potential victims, the scammers use attention-grabbing posts that feature a signature indicating the post was “written” by Meta/Facebook support staff. They also tag dozens of other pages in their posts, which contain links to the phishing websites. The posts are visible in users’ newsfeeds, notifications, or search results for individuals or companies whose accounts have been tagged.

The cybercriminals have targeted public figures such as politicians, celebrities, musicians, and influencers, along with sports teams and public organizations. Once a victim’s account is compromised, the attackers could threaten to delete the account or post undesirable content unless a ransom is paid.

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The goal of this ongoing phishing campaign, which will continue until February and March 2023, is to gain access to high-profile users’ Facebook accounts and use their login credentials to target their other social media and financial accounts. The attackers may use hacked accounts to collect the credentials of other users, and in some cases, they have repurposed compromised profiles into phishing profiles to increase the damage. 

The scammers have been found to use terms such as “account”, “retrieval”, and “recovery” to attract new victims.

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In addition to stealing information, attackers are using compromised profiles to demand ransom and threaten to remove or upload inappropriate content if their demands are not met. The true danger of this phishing campaign is its potential reach, warns Group-IB. “Followers of a specific page – those who subscribed before the account was taken over by the scammers – are converted into potential victims following account takeover,” according to the blog post.

Group-IB’s analysis discovered more than 3,200 fake profiles, with over 220 phishing sites impersonating genuine Meta and Facebook webpages to deceive potential victims. 

To avoid falling victim to these scams, it is important to verify the authenticity of any messages or notifications received from social media companies, especially if they ask for personal information. Always check the URL of the website you are visiting, and ensure it is the correct one.

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