Meta fired employees for taking over user accounts, WSJ says

Some workers were accused of accepting thousands of dollars in return for giving hackers access to user accounts. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - Meta Platforms Inc. has fired or disciplined more than two dozen employees and contractors in the past year for improperly taking over user accounts, sometimes allegedly for bribes, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Some workers were accused of accepting thousands of dollars in return for giving hackers access to user accounts, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter and documents that detailed the investigation. 

A Meta spokesman told the Journal that the company will continue taking “appropriate action” against people that sell fraudulent services and target its platforms. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg. 

The company, which owns Facebook and Instagram and holds data on more than 3.7 billion users, is a prime target for hackers. Meta said last month that it was planning to notify about 1 million Facebook users that their account credentials were compromised by malicious apps. Meta, along with other major technology companies, has also been tricked into providing sensitive personal information about customers in response to fraudulent legal requests.

In some instances, contractors who were working as security guards were given access to a Facebook tool called “Oops”, an acronym for “Online Operations,” that lets employees help users who have forgotten their passwords or had their accounts taken over by hackers. 

A number of third-party services with access to Meta employees have begun charging users to reset accounts, the Journal said. A Meta spokesman said that buying or selling accounts or paying for account recovery violates the company’s terms of service.  BLOOMBERG

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