Updated · May 20, 2022
Apple, Meta & Discord Gave Away Private User Data to Hackers
Updated · Mar 31, 2022
Posed as law enforcement, the cybercriminals convinced the companies to turn over the private information of their users.
Fooled by Fraudsters
Tech companies Apple and Facebook and communication service Discord fell for a scam, causing them to hand over customer data. According to Bloomberg, the hackers involved acted as law enforcement officials and faked emergency data requests.
The report states that both Apple and Meta handed over basic subscriber details to the cybercriminals in mid-2021. These include customers’ addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses.
Discord, on the other hand, turned over the “internet address history of Discord accounts tied to a specific phone number”, said cybersecurity analyst Krebs on Security.
The Scam Tactics
In the US, law enforcement agencies regularly ask ISPs, social media platforms, and other tech companies with large user bases to turn over relevant customer data. Most of these companies even have departments to handle such cases.
The agencies typically accompany the requests they send with subpoenas or court-ordered warrants. However, in emergency situations, for example, information is sought urgently. Cybercriminals have capitalized on this to fraudulently obtain data from several companies, according to various reports.
Apple did not expressly deny or confirm whether or not it handed over user information. Instead, it pointed out its procedure in similar scenarios.
On its own, Meta implied that it is collaborating with officials on the issue.
“We block known compromised accounts from making requests and work with law enforcement to respond to incidents involving suspected fraudulent requests, as we have done in this case,” said spokesperson Andy Stone.
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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