Meta, the parent company of Facebook, fired more than two dozen employees last year whose job was actually to help users with login problems. Instead, the accounts have been misused. In some cases, employees are said to have accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from cybercriminals. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
“Oops” – the name says it all
Among those laid off were employees and contractors with access to internal security-related mechanisms. According to the report, the persons were identified in a lengthy internal investigation. A Mita spokesperson said, according to the report, that it will continue to take appropriate action against the violations and the people involved.
The program, known internally as “Oops” (Online Operations), has existed since the early years of Facebook and is only available to “special cases” who have problems (forgotten access to data or hacked accounts) with their accounts. For example, the opportunity to use Oops should be limited to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s team employees, business partners, family members, or public figures whose economic success also depends on their accounts.
Agents charge owners
According to internal documents, the “Oops” team, which is responsible for Facebook and Instagram accounts, is said to have processed more than 50,000 inquiries in 2020, three years ago it was 22,000. Email addresses for account password resets reported in “Oops” reports were redirected to the Meta community support team when the automatic password reset feature does not work or when users have changed their forgotten email addresses.
Lucrative criminal businesses have developed around users, whose business is highly dependent on social networks. Hacked accounts are sold on online forums for tens of thousands of dollars, and so-called “middlemen” charge actual owners a “corresponding fee” to regain control.
So be it Wall Street Journal report This is only possible because criminals have access to the staff of the meta group and regular access to the “Oops” team is not available to most of the more than three billion Facebook and Instagram users. According to Meta, customer service will be expanded in the coming years. In 2017, Facebook announced that delegated recovery would replace password resets via email.