Facebook removes China-based spies for targeting Uyghurs living across the globe

The social media giant, Facebook said that it has removed a group of China-based hackers for targeting the members of the Uyghur community living abroad. 


Facebook on March 24 said that it has removed a group of China-based hackers for targeting the members of the Uyghur community living abroad. The social media giant also said that hackers used malicious websites as well as applications to infect the dives and allow surveillance of Muslim minorities outside China, remotely. Journalists and activists were also targetted, according to Facebook. Even though a majority of the cyber attacks did not directly happen on Facebook, it said that the social media platform was used to share links.

Facebook head of cyber espionage investigations Mike Dvilyanski and security policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher said in a blog post, “Facebook threat intelligence analysts and security experts work to find and stop a wide range of threats including cyber espionage campaigns, influence operations and hacking of our platform by nation-state actors and other groups.”

“As part of these efforts, our teams routinely disrupt adversary operations by disabling them, notifying users if they should take steps to protect their accounts, sharing our findings publicly and continuing to improve the security of our products,” they added.

As per reports, it is not the first time that hackers have been accused of such activity. The Uyghurs are originally from China’s north-western region of Xinjiang and those who were targetted by Chinese hackers were currently living places such as Turkey, the United States, Australia and Canada.

Facebook wrote, “This activity had the hallmarks of a well-resourced and persistent operation while obfuscating who’s behind it. On our platform, this cyber espionage campaign manifested primarily in sending links to malicious websites rather than direct sharing of the malware itself. We saw this activity slow down at various times, likely in response to our and other companies’ actions to disrupt their activity.”

Hackers created fake accounts

The hackers reportedly created fake accounts on Facebook and pretended to be journalists, activists or others who are sympathetic to the Uyghur community. Gleicher said in the briefing, "The tactic was to build trust, and then use that as a way to trick them to click on these links to expose their devices...Even for a small number of users, less than 500 in this case around the world, the impact can be very serious -- you can imagine the surveillance."

Source: https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/china/facebook-removes-china-based-spies-for-targeting-uyghurs-living-across-the-globe.html


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