Facebook sues data-mining quiz company

Ukrainian hackers used quizzes to leak over 60K Facebook users' data

Facebook sues over 'data-grabbing' quizzes

Facebook said the hackers caused more than $75,000 in damages to the tech company. That allowed the developers to scrape information from a user's page as well as those of any friends to whom they were connected on the social networking site.

The complaint says these hackers scraped public profile information and non-publicly viewable lists of friends, in addition to serving their own ads instead of official Facebook-approved ones. The quizzes often featured such headlines as: "What kind of dog are you according to your zodiac sign?", according to CNN.

The report comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has emphasised the importance of personal messaging apps.

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Matthew Tisdal, a senior network engineer for Pivotal IT says, "this malicious malware browser extension is in the background scraping data and giving the information that the hackers want to be able to sell on the black market". This amount according to the civil complaint was what Facebook spent in removing the malicious plugins from its website previous year.

Once users connected their Facebook and other social media accounts they were asked to install what Facebook described as "malicious browser extensions" that essentially allowed the alleged hackers to pose as the affected users online.

Malicious quiz apps were used to harvest thousands of users' profile data, according to Facebook.

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Facebook, in its lawsuit filed on Friday, alleged that the Kiev-based entrepreneurs violated Californian and federal anti-hacking laws, and sued them for fraud and breach of Facebook's terms of service.

The hackers were uncovered after they claimed to have access to 120 million Facebook accounts. However, Facebook refused to give an immediate response as to whether Gleb Sulchevsky and Andrey Gorbachov were the culprits then.

The scheme seemingly wouldn't have worked, however, if Facebook hadn't approved the hackers as developers who could use its Facebook Login feature. In both cases, the defendants are overseas and seem unlikely to suffer serious consequences.

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"Facebook was vulnerable to very similar types of attacks, which simply means that Facebook is really good for targeting particular users with advertising, so it makes the platform so valuable", Dan Patterson, senior producer at CNET, told CBSN.

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