— Facebook

Taking Legal Action Against Phishing Attacks

  • We filed a federal lawsuit to disrupt phishing attacks designed to deceive people into sharing their login credentials on fake login pages for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Today, we filed a federal lawsuit in California court to disrupt phishing attacks designed to deceive people into sharing their login credentials on fake login pages for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Phishing is a significant threat to millions of Internet users. Phishing attacks lure victims to a website that appears to be operated by a trusted entity, such as a bank, a merchant, or other service. The website, however, is a deception, a fake, and the site’s fake content is designed to persuade a victim to enter sensitive information, like a password or email address. Reports of phishing attacks have been on the rise across the industry and we are taking this action to uncover the identities of the people behind the attack and stop their harmful conduct.

This phishing scheme involved the creation of more than 39,000 websites impersonating the login pages of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. On these websites, people were prompted to enter their usernames and passwords, which Defendants collected.  

As part of the attacks, Defendants used a relay service to redirect internet traffic to the phishing websites in a way that obscured their attack infrastructure. This enabled them to conceal the true location of the phishing websites, and the identities of their online hosting providers and the defendants. Starting in March 2021, when the volume of these attacks increased, we worked with the relay service to suspend thousands of URLs to the phishing websites. 

This lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people’s safety and privacy, send a clear message to those trying to abuse our platform, and increase accountability of those who abuse technology. We will also continue to collaborate with online hosting and service providers to identify and disrupt phishing attacks as they occur. We proactively block and report instances of abuse to the hosting and security community, domain name registrars, privacy/proxy services, and others. And Meta blocks and shares phishing URLs so other platforms can also block them.

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