Tuesday, 5 July, 2022
E-paper

Facebook owner Meta takes action against cyber threats in some countries

Meta Platforms, which controls the world's biggest social networking site Facebook, took action to remove accounts that violated its policies in an effort to prevent the spread of cyber threats, its new report showed.

In its first quarterly Adversarial Threat Report, Meta analysts wrote about the risks of co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour, online espionage, mass reporting and other emerging problems from some countries, report agencies.

It is expanding the scope of its action to deal with an increasingly dangerous internet landscape and the use of social media networks by individuals and groups in pursuit of illicit activities.

Meta's public security reporting began more than four years ago, when it shared findings regarding co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour by the Russian Internet Research Agency.

“Since then, global threats have significantly evolved, and we have expanded our ability to respond to a wider range of adversarial behaviour,” analysts wrote.

“To provide a more comprehensive view into the risks we see, we’re expanding our regular reporting … all in one place, as part of the quarterly reporting we’re testing.”

So-called “bad actors” on the internet have grown in numbers and scope, forcing companies and individuals to be very cautious about the content they engage with.

Overall, such criminal activities were projected to inflict damages worth about $6 trillion globally in 2021, according to a study by research company Cybersecurity Ventures. If that were to be measured as a country, it would be the world's third-largest economy behind the US and China.

By 2025, illicit activity is expected to cost the world about $10.5tn, up 250 per cent from 2015's $3tn, it said.

Meanwhile, global spending on IT security and risk management was estimated to have increased 12.4 per cent to $150.4 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow in the high single digits through 2024, according to research firm Gartner.

Meta said it has been on high alert during Russia's offensive in Ukraine to detect and disrupt threats and platform abuse, including attempts by removed networks to return.

It said that since the war began, tens of thousands of accounts, pages and groups have been removed — a tricky task given the magnitude of the crisis.

“As is typical for major world events and critical societal issues, we’re seeing scammers around the world turn to the war in Ukraine to amass an audience and monetise everyone’s attention to this humanitarian crisis,” Meta said.