Meta fires, disciplines staff for hijacking accounts

According to a media report, some offenders used Meta’s account recovery software, “Oops,” and even took thousands of dollars in bribes from those seeking access.
Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

SAN FRANCISCO: Meta has reportedly fired or disciplined over two dozen employees for hijacking Facebook and Instagram accounts over the past year.

According to a media report, some offenders used Meta’s account recovery software, “Oops,” and even took thousands of dollars in bribes from those seeking access. Some of those fired were contractors who worked as security guards at Meta facilities and were given access to the company’s internal system for helping users who had trouble with their accounts.

“Individuals selling fraudulent services are always targeting online platforms, including ours, and adapting their tactics in response to the detection methods that are commonly used across the industry,” Meta spokesman Andy Stone was quoted as saying.

“The company will keep taking appropriate action against those involved in these kinds of schemes,” he added.

When people lost access to their accounts, they frequently try automated procedures for resetting them or attempt to contact someone at Meta by phone or email, which many users have reported is frequently unsuccessful, according to the report.

Some of those individuals were able to procure the assistance of Meta personnel and subcontractors by having them complete a form through the Oops channel.

The usage of Oops, an acronym for Online Operations, has increased along with the number of employees despite being intended to be somewhat restricted to special cases, such as friends, family, business partners, and public figures, said the report.

In 2020, the channel serviced about 50,270 tasks, up from 22,000 tasks in 2017, the report added.

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