Internet criminals are still publicly active on Facebook

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On Facebook, cyber criminals gather in easy-to-find groups. These groups focus on issues such as identity theft, credit card theft, spam, and hacking. Facebook has already brushed up on these kinds of groups before, but apparently there is no permanent solution yet.

Cisco’s security division Talos revealed the groups’ continued presence in a blog post on Friday. They write about 74 Facebook groups that together had an estimated 385,000 members. Some groups are said to have been on Facebook for eight years.

According to Talos, the groups can be found with simple search terms such as ‘spam’, ‘carding’ or ‘cvv’. Facebook’s algorithm even knows how to recommend more such groups if a user has already joined some.

The researchers further note that Brian Krebs, another security expert, reported an equally large load of Facebook pages to the social medium last year. Facebook then deleted it, but this research by Talos shows that new groups simply arise, with names that are very similar to those of the deleted groups. Names like “Spam Professional” and “Spammer & Hacker Professional” also indicate that no effort is made to remain subtle. In fact, the sellers would sometimes even trade under their real names.

Notifications via Facebook’s systems did not always lead to results. Sometimes groups were removed, but other times only specific posts within a group. Still other groups are not taking any action at all, at least not at the time of the Talos blog post being published.

Facebook has responded to the case to Wired. “These groups are in violation of the Facebook Terms of Use Agreement and have been removed. We know we need to be more vigilant and we are investing heavily in this.”

The social medium is struggling with the problem on several fronts. For example, the Facebook livestream of the New Zealand shooting last month was broadcast for an hour before it was taken offline, prompting much criticism for Facebook over its moderation policy. Facebook also intends to perform better in this area.

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