Category Archives: Facebook

Fake Facebook MidJourney AI Page Promoted Malware To 1.2 Million People



Hackers are using Facebook advertisements and hijacked pages to promote fake Artificial Intelligence services, such as MidJourney, OpenAI’s SORA and ChatGPT-5, and DALL-E, to infect unsuspecting users with password-stealing malware, Bleeping Computer reported.

The malvertising campaigns are created by hijacked Facebook profiles that impersonate popular AI services, pretending to offer a sneak peak of new features.

Users tricked by the ads become members of fraudulent Facebook communities, where the threat actors post news, AI-generated images, and other related info to make pages look legitimate.

However, the community posts often promote limited-time access to upcoming and eagerly anticipated AI-services, tricking the users into the download malicious executables that infect Windows computers with information-stealing malware like Rilide, Vidar, IceRAT, and Nova.

Information-stealing malware focuses on stealing data form a victim’s browser, including stored credentials, cookies, cryptocurrency wallet information, autocomplete data, and credit card information.

The Record reported cybercriminals are taking over Facebook pages and using them to advertise fake generative artificial intelligence software loaded with malware.

According to researchers at the cybersecurity company Bitdefender, the cybercrooks are taking advantage of the popularity of new generative AI tools and using “malvertising” to impersonate legitimate products like Midjourney, Sora AI, ChatGPT-5, and others.

The campaigns follow a certain blueprint. Cybercriminals take over a Facebook account and begin to make changes to the page’s descriptions, cover and profile photo. According to Bitdefender, they make “the page seem as if it is run by well-known AI-based image and video generators.”

They then populate the pages with purported product news and advertisements for software, which are themselves generated with AI software.

The downloads contain various types of info steeling malware – like Riide, Vidar, IceRAT, and Nova Stealers — which are available for purchase on the dark web, allowing unsophisticated cybercriminals to launch attacks.

According to The Record, the most notable Facebook page hijack involved the application Midjourney, a popular tool for creating AI-generated images. Its hijacked page had 1.2 million followers and was active for nearly a year before it was shut down earlier this month.

Tom’s Guide reported once an account is compromised, the hackers then give it an AI-themed makeover with a new cover and profile photos as well as descriptions to make it appear as if it is run by one of the well-known AI-generated photos and advertisements to further impersonate whichever AI image generator of video generate service they want to leverage in their attacks.

During their investigation, Bitedefender’s security researchers found that the hackers responsible used a much different approach with MidJourney. For other AI tools, they urged visitors to download the latest versions from Dropbox or Google Drive, but with Midjourney, they created more than a dozen malicious sites that impersonated the tool’s actual landing page. These sites then tried to trick visitors into downloading the latest version of the took via a GoFile link.

In my opinion, the cybercriminals are obviously terrible people who want to take advantage of others. I’m hoping that Facebook has taken swift action against the crooks who likely caused harm to several Facebook users.


Facebook To Remove Topics From User’s Profiles



Facebook quietly announced it will remove several categories of information from user profiles, including religious views, political views, addresses and the “Interested in” field, which indicates sexual preference. The change goes into effect on December 1, Gizmodo reported.

“As part of our efforts to make Facebook easier to navigate and use, we’re removing a handful of profile fields: Interested In, Religious Views, Political Views, and Address,” said Emil Vazquez, a Meta spokesperson. “We’re sending notifications to people who have these fields filled out, letting them know these fields will be removed. This change doesn’t effect anyone’s ability to share this information about themselves elsewhere on Facebook.”

According to Gizmodo, the shift reflects Meta’s broader public relations efforts. As a whole, the tech industry wants the public to differentiate between “sensitive” data and what you might call “regular” data. Meta will tell you that Instagram and Facebook don’t use sensitive data for advertising, for example, though that change only came after researchers uncovered serious problems.

Gizmodo also reported: Facebook earned a poor reputation, not just for causing societal problems but because it’s just not cool anymore. Users have been leaving the platform in droves, and even Instagram, Facebook’s younger and slightly hipper sibling, has seen its cache decline.

The company is in dire financial straits as a result, Gizmodo reported. It laid off 11,000 employees just last week. CEO Mark Zuckerberg shifted the entire future of the company, moving away from social media and towards a moonshot goal of building a mixture of virtual and augmented reality he calls “the metaverse”. But in the meantime, Facebook and Instagram are still Meta’s only source of income.

TechCrunch reported that Facebook’s change was first spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, who tweeted a screenshot of the notice being sent to users who have these fields filled out. The notice indicates that users’ other information will remain on their profiles along with the rest of their contact and basic information.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s decision to get rid of these specific profile fields is part of its efforts to streamline its platform, which currently consists of several features that are somewhat outdated.

It’s worth noting that the information fields that Facebook is choosing to remove are ones that other major social networks don’t offer. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have simple bios that let users share a little bit about themselves without going into specific details, such as political or religious views.

Engadget reported that other details that you provide Facebook, such as your contact information and relationship status, will persist. You can download a copy of your Facebook data before December 1st if you’re determined to preserve it, and you still have control over who can see the remaining profile content.

I’m seeing what might be a pattern. Facebook is removing information from the profile’s of its users, making it harder for users to have an easy way to self-identify. Twitter is losing employees by the hundreds, which I assume would make it harder for the company to implement new features or enforce its terms of service. Could this be the end of social media as we know it?


Meta Warns 1M Facebook Users Their Login Info Might Be Compromised



The Washington Post reported that Facebook parent Meta is warning 1 million users that their login information may have been compromised through malicious apps.

According to The Washington Post, Meta’s researchers found more than 400 malicious Android and Apple iOS apps this year that were designed to steal the personal Facebook login information of its users, the company said Friday in blog post. Meta spokesperson Gabby Curtis confirmed that Meta is warning 1 million users who may have been affected by the apps.

Meta said the apps they identified were listed in Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store as games, photo editors, health and safety lifestyle services and other types of apps to trick people into downloading them. Often the malicious app would ask users to “login with Facebook” and later steal their username and password, according to the company.

Meta posted information titled “Protecting People From Malicious Account Compromise Apps” in Meta’s Newsroom. Here is some of what Meta found:

Our security researchers have found more than 400 malicious Android and iOS apps this year that were designed to steal Facebook login information and compromise people’s accounts. These apps were listed on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and disguised as photo editors, games, VPN services, business apps, and other utilities to trick people into downloading them. Some examples include:

  • Photo editors, including those that claim to allow you to “turn yourself into a cartoon”
  • VPNs claiming to boost browsing speed or grant access to blocked content or websites
  • Mobile games falsely promising high-quality 3D graphics
  • Health and lifestyle apps such as horoscopes and fitness trackers
  • Business or ad management apps claiming to provide hidden or unauthorized features not found in official apps by tech platforms.

Meta’s post included a pie chart that shows the categories of the malicious apps. 42.6% were photo editor apps, 15.4% were business utility apps. 14.1% were phone utility apps, 11.7% were game apps, 11.7% were VPN apps, and 4.4% were lifestyle apps.

Meta also stated that malware apps often have telltale signs that differentiate them from legitimate apps. Here are a few things to consider before logging into a mobile app with your Facebook account:

Requiring social media credentials to use the app. Is the app unusable if you don’t provide your Facebook information? For example, be suspicious of a photo-editing app that needs your Facebook login and password before allowing you to use it.

The app’s reputation. Is the app reputable? Look at its download count, ratings and reviews, including the negative ones.

Promised features. Does the app provide the functionality it says it will, either before or after logging in?

I stopped using Facebook a long time ago. Back then, the worst thing that could happen to a person who played games on Facebook was that their strawberries would rot before they could tend them in FarmVille. I cannot help but wonder if the simplicity of the Zynga games that were on early Facebook made people presume that all apps on Facebook were safe.


Facebook Shifts Resources Away From News To Focus On Creator Economy



Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook is reallocating resources from its Facebook News tab and newsletter platform Bulletin, as the company focuses more on the creator economy, senior executive Campbell Brown told employees in a memo, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Brown, a former journalist who leads Facebook’s global media partnerships, said the company would shift engineering and product support away from the two products as “those teams heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy.” The decision was made at the product level, not by the partnerships team that Ms. Brown is a part of, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Facebook News is a curated selection of news stories that users can find as a tab on the mobile app or website, similar to the Facebook Watch tab for video. Bulletin, which Facebook unveiled in June 2021, is a subscription platform meant to compete with Substack. It is aimed at supporting independent writers.

The Hill reported that, in a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Meta, the company that owns Facebook, said it evaluates products to ensure that they are bringing the most “meaningful experiences” to users on the platform.

“We regularly evaluate the products we offer to ensure we’re focused on the most meaningful experiences for people on Facebook and the future of our business,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We remain committed to the success of creators, and are doing even more to ensure they can find audiences on Facebook and grow engaged communities there.

In October of 2019, Facebook announced that it was starting to test Facebook News, which was described as “a dedicated place for news on Facebook”, to a subset of people in the United States. The initial test showcased local original reporting from the largest major metro areas of the country, beginning with New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington D.C., Miami, Atlanta, and Boston.

In June of 2020, Facebook rejected a proposal by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to share advertising revenue with Australian news organizations, The Guardian reported. Facebook says there would “not be significant” impacts on its business if it stopped sharing news altogether.

In 2021, ABC News reported that Facebook had to walk back its block on Australian users sharing news on the site after the government agreed to make amendments to the proposed media bargaining laws that would force major tech giants to pay news outlets for their content.

No one should be surprised that Facebook is now pushing toward creator content, and away from news content, considering the platform’s history on the topic.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has paid publishers who participate in the News program. The company signed deals worth tens of millions of dollars with news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. But, as these deals approach their expiration dates this year, Facebook began to signal to publishers and others in the industry that renewing the deals wasn’t a priority.


Facebook Wants You To Share Reels From Third-Party Apps



Meta (parent company of Facebook) has introducedSharing to Reels. It is described on the Meta for Developers site as “a new way for developers to make it easy for people to share video directly to Facebook”.

Enabling Sharing to Reels makes it easy for people to share short-form videos directly to Facebook. Once integrated, third-party apps will have a Reels button so people can share short videos, then customize with Reels editing tools like audio, text, effects, captions and stickers. Instead of downloading their video content and uploading it later, they can now create and share video seamlessly with one tap.

At launch, Facebook has partnered with Smule, Vita, and VivaVideo who have integrated #SharingToReels and are finding new ways for Creators to express themselves, grow their communities, and reach new audiences.

Personally, I’ve never heard of those companies. I’m also wondering why Facebook didn’t choose to include Instagram which has its own version of Reels (and is also connected to Meta). That seems like the obvious choice!

TechCrunch reported: While Reels first began as a way to directly combat TikTok with a feature inside the Instagram app, Meta also brought them to Facebook shortly after. The company touted during its Q4 2021 earnings that Reels is now its “fastest-growing content format by far.” The company also said Reels was the biggest contributor to growth on Instagram and “growing very quickly” on Facebook, too.

Facebook also did not mention TikTok, which is pretty much all about reels. Why? Engadget may have the answer to that question.

Engadget reported: Facebook is taking another step to encourage users to create original content for its TikTok clone. The company introduced a “sharing to Reels” feature to allow users of third-party apps to post directly to Facebook Reels.

Engadget also reported: Now, with Facebook losing users to TikTok, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has staked a lot on the success of Reels. He said last fall that Reels would be “as important for our products as Stories” and that reorienting its service to appeal to younger users was the company’s “North Star”.

In short, Facebook made a clone that does what TikTok and Instagram have already been doing. Cloning features from other social media platforms is not new. If Facebook excludes TikTok and/or Instagram from Reels, Facebook users might simply decide to continue posting their content on either Instagram or TikTok instead bringing it to Facebook.


Meta Lost Daily Users Last Quarter



The Washington Post reported that Meta, the new name for the company formerly known as Facebook, reported Wednesday that Facebook lost daily users last quarter for the first time ever. According to The Washington Post, the company as a whole, which includes Instagram and WhatsApp, continued to grow, Facebook stalled just shy of 2 billion log-ins a day.

The Washington Post also reported that “Facebook may have peaked in 2021” was the most symbolic data point in a gloomy corporate earnings report that sent Meta’s stock into an epic, historical spiral. The stock lost $220 billion from its value. The loss was greatest in Africa, Latin America, and India, suggesting that the company’s product is saturated globally.

What could be the causes of this drop in daily users? The Verge reported that Meta struggled with waning relevance among young people as CEO Mark Zuckerberg refocused its aim toward “metaverse” plans. The Washington Post reported that Facebook is losing younger users to TikTok.

In addition, Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature required all companies that wanted to track users and their data across different apps and websites had to ask permission through a standardized prompt created by Apple. With the click of a button, people could prevent apps from tracking them. According to The Guardian, Facebook’s advertising model had been hit hard by privacy changes at Apple, and Facebook said it expects it will cost them millions.

Protocol reported that the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar) is headed to the floor of the House. If passed into law, the legislation would prohibit large tech platforms from boosting their own produces and services on the platforms they own. That, too, could potentially take away some money from Meta.

As if that weren’t enough, CBC reported that Meta revealed, for the first time, the financials of its Reality labs division in its fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. According to CBS, Reality Labs reported more than $10 billion in losses in 2021 alone. Meta would have had more than $56 billion in profit for all of last year had it not been for Reality Labs.

It seems to me, based on all of this, that Meta needs to rethink how it is running its business. I cannot see how it can recover from losses like this, year after year, as people continue to lose interest in the company’s various assets.


People Working at Meta are Leaving the Company



There has been an exodus of people leaving Meta. What does it mean when a large corporation loses so many of its higher-ups in such a short span of time? Personally, it is unclear to me whether these people are leaving because they have been asked to, or if Meta is simply not the type of company they wish to continue working for.

CNBC reported that Deborah Liu, formerly of Facebook Marketplace, left Facebook in February of 2021, to become CEO of Ancestry.com.

CNBC also reported that Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s former ads chief, announced she would be leaving jn June of 2021. She went to grocery delivery app Instacart. Fidji Simo, who was head of the Facebook app, became CEO of Instacart after leaving Facebook.

On November 30, 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that David Marcus, a longtime Meta Platforms Inc. executive who worked on messaging and led the company’s “heavily scrutinized” cryptocurrency initiatives, announced his resignation. He is set to leave Meta at the end of this year.

On December 7, 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that Stan Chudnovsky, who has been running Messenger since 2018, will step down in the second quarter of 2022.

Facebook announced in its newsroom on October 28, 2021, that the company is now Meta. This was announced at the Connect 2021 thing that CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at.

That same day, in a Founder’s Letter, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that in the future, “you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up.”

It appears that many of the executives who had been working at Facebook have been quite able to leave Meta and go on to work at other companies. Doing so did not require the use of a headset or the virtual commute to work as a hologram.