Hackers are increasingly targeting verified Facebook pages for malware distribution by breaking into the accounts, renaming them with Meta or Google-related titles, and purchasing advertising space to deceive potential victims.
The Deceptive Strategy
Once cybercriminals gain control of a verified Facebook page, they post messages offering supposed security alternatives for other page administrators. These messages encourage users to download a “more professional and secure tool” to manage their ad accounts, claiming it has new features for better audience targeting and ad optimization. However, the download link is a virus to disrupt unsuspecting users’ lives.
Malware Distribution Through Pages | Facebook Delayed Detection
Social media consultant Matt Navarra was among the first to notice this hacking tactic. He expressed concern over Facebook’s failure to detect these scams and he asked how the verified accounts hacked in the first place. Some of these pages had millions of followers and had been active on the platform for over a decade.
It is also perplexing that Facebook allowed the compromised pages to be renamed with terms related to the company while retaining their verified status. Furthermore, the hackers’ ability to purchase Facebook ads from these hacked accounts suggests a lack of moderation in this regard.
Malware Distribution Through Facebook Pages | Meta’s Response
After several users brought the issue to Meta’s attention on Twitter, the company took action. TechCrunch reported that all exposed criminals lost access to the pages, which were subsequently disabled. However, this does not necessarily mean the invasions have ceased. Notably, Facebook tracks and displays the entire name change history of verified accounts.
Meta’s spokesperson commented on the situation, stating that the company invests significant resources in detecting and preventing scams and hacks. Many improvements may be hard to see as they minimize issues before they arise. Scammers are constantly trying to circumvent security measures.
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The malware distribution through verified Facebook pages highlights the ever-evolving tactics used by cybercriminals. It is crucial for social media platforms like Facebook to remain vigilant and responsive to potential threats and continuously improve their security measures to protect users and their data.