Facebook Data Leaked! Ukrainian Hackers Facing Charges for Using Malware Plugins

Facebook sues two Ukranians over data-pinching browser add-ons

Facebook sues two Ukranians over data-pinching browser add-ons

Once a user logged in using their Facebook account, the alleged offenders were able to direct their targets to install malicious browser extensions, which were able to scrape profile data, including publicly visible information and a person's friends list.

"In total, defendants compromised approximately 63,000 browsers used by Facebook users and caused over $75,000 in damages to Facebook", the company claims in its civil complaint, citing the cost of rooting out the activity.

The move has some wondering how a privacy-driven social media company can be profitable, given that Facebook earns profits from advertising dollars and has the second-largest hold on the digital ad market behind Google.

The apps scraped users' public info, like name, gender, age and profile picture, but also harvested private data like nonpublic lists of friends. The quizzes often featured such headlines as: "What kind of dog are you according to your zodiac sign?", according to CNN.

The company was granted access to people's information when they downloaded and installed a browser extension the quiz claimed was necessary to see the result.

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The report comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has emphasised the importance of personal messaging apps.

The extensions would then take data from social networking sites including Facebook.

It's been a roller coaster year for Facebook investors.

Once users connected their Facebook and other social media accounts they were asked to install what Facebook described as "malicious browser extensions" that essentially allowed the alleged hackers to pose as the affected users online. The quizzes used the Facebook Login feature, which allows people to consent to connections between third party apps and their profiles.

Facebook is accusing Sluchevsky and Gorbachov of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by accessing Facebook data without authorization, as well as fraud and breach of contract for misrepresenting themselves as legitimate Facebook developers. But the suits give Facebook a chance to defend itself against charges of being lax with privacy and security, explaining how users have been victimized by hackers - not the platform itself. In both cases, the defendants are overseas and seem unlikely to suffer serious consequences.

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