Two Ukrainian hackers used questionnaires and apparently harmless online surveys, with headlines such as "What does your eye color say?", To access data from Facebook's private users and to target users with "unauthorized" ads , the social media company says.
Suspected hackers misused a Facebook feature that helped them gain control of users' Internet browsers and gave them access to private information about Facebook users and lists of their private friends, he said. alleged in a lawsuit filed Friday in northern California.
Working in Kiev, Ukraine, Andrey Gorbachov and Gleb Sluchevsky would have appealed to Facebook users for them to connect their accounts to a range of online quiz applications bearing names such as, "Do you have the royal blood? "," you are yin, who is your yang? "and" what kind of dog are you according to your zodiac sign? "
Once users log in to their Facebook account and other social networks, they were asked to install what Facebook describes as "malicious browser extensions" that essentially allow suspected hackers to impersonate line concerned.
Facebook offers a range of services that allow users to use their Facebook account to connect to other services, including dating and music apps.
The amount of information that Facebook shares about its users with third-party apps such as these has been the subject of close scrutiny over the last 12 months.
Last March, it became apparent that a developer working for Cambridge Analytica, a controversial data firm who later worked for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, collected data on tens of millions of dollars. US Facebook users without their explicit knowledge. The developer had used an online quiz application connected to Facebook to collect the data.
The so-called Ukrainian operation was largely aimed at Russian and Ukrainian speakers, said Facebook. More than 60,000 Internet browsers used by Facebook users have been compromised, he added.
"On Friday, Facebook filed a lawsuit against two developers based in Ukraine for violating our US policies and other laws by exploiting malicious browser extensions designed to remove Facebook and other social networking sites. By filing the complaint, we hope to reinforce the fact that this type of fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our services and we will act forcefully to protect the integrity of our platform, "said a spokesman for the society.
The alleged hackers accessed information from Facebook users, including their name, age range and profile picture, as well as their private list of friends on Facebook. The accused used users' browser access to "inject unauthorized ads" when users visited Facebook and other social media sites, Facebook said.
Gorbachov and Sluchevsky worked for a company called Web Sun Group. CNN contacted the group but did not receive any comment.
The suit accuses the duo of fraud and breach of contract and claims damages and a restraining order against alleged computer hackers and their associates.
The operation was discovered in October 2018 and Facebook suspended suspected hackers, who were operating under false names on the platform. The company also said it had informed other companies, including internet browser makers, that the defendants had used the alleged scam.
The Daily Beast was the first to report details of public documents filed on Friday.