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Security Researchers Find Marketplaces for Cybercriminals on Facebook

By Sarah Kuranda



Source: The Information

Security researchers at Cisco have discovered more than 74 pages on Facebook that let hundreds of thousands of members buy and sell hacking tools, stolen credit card information and other things that can be used by cybercriminals, according to a blog post by the company on Friday. Most of the pages have since been shut down. Facebook eliminated around 120 groups last year peddling similar wares. The researchers said the findings show that Facebook’s computer algorithms “are not intelligent enough to distinguish benign activities from the unethical or outright illegal,” even when researchers said it was not hard to find the groups as they were labeled with very clear terms like “professional spammers” or “selling CCV.”While we’ve seen many examples of Facebook’s struggles to moderate content and communities on its site in the past year, the researchers in this case bring up two interesting points. First, they note that Facebook’s reliance on communities to flag bad behavior probably won’t work in this type of case as criminals are unlikely to report their own groups. And, they say, Facebook’s own algorithms quickly start to recommend similar groups, which made “new criminal hangouts even easier to find.” In both of those cases, Facebook appears to be accidentally exacerbating its own problems, even as they look to solve them.

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