Facebook uncovered six private surveillance companies for criminal activity targeting some 50,000 people on its platforms.
The criminal actions as revealed by Facebook in its reports included various abuses, including hacking attacks. Facebook or Meta claimed in its report that it suspended about 1,500 mostly fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp that were captured.
The surveillance companies include Isreal’s Black Cube, BellTroX, an Indian cyber mercenary firm, an Israeli company called Bluehawk CI and European firm Cytrox.
While Meta did not accuse Cognyte and Cobwebs Technologies of hacking users, the company accused them of using fake profiles to get people to reveal their private information.
Commenting on the new measures, David Agranovich, Meta’s cybersecurity official, said he hoped Thursday’s announcement would “kickstart the disruption of the surveillance-for-hire market.”
There are indications that other platforms are making a determined effort to clean up their platform and better ensure the safety of users.