Facebook Exposes Profiles of Terrorist Moderators

The Myki Security Report features the top stories of the week in Cyber Security and Hacking news:

  • Facebook showed terrorists the personal profiles of their moderators.
  • Airbnb is buying a background check technology to fight scammers.

Facebook showed terrorists the personal profiles of their moderators.

Did you know that Facebook has an counter terrorism team?
They are called Community Operations Workers and are paid $15/hour to analyze and identify suspected terrorist activities.

It's not an easy task to moderate social activity on a social network with over 2 billion users, and with 1.3M posts shared every minute.

1.3 Million posts are shared on Facebook every minute!

It is highly specialized and difficult work which requires the team to develop knowledge of global terror networks and scour through often highly-disturbing material including sexual material, hate speech, and terrorist propaganda.

Facebook has an counter terrorism team called Community Operations Workers that work to identify suspected terrorist activities.

It turns out that a bug inadvertently exposed the personal Facebook profiles of those moderating these violent graphic images to terrorists. Moderators profiles started appearing in the activity logs of the groups they were shutting down.

The moderators were alerted that something was going on when they started receiving friend requests on their personal accounts from the very people and organizations they were investigating and shutting down.

Moderators began receiving friend requests from the terrorists they were investigating.

The security lapse affected more than 1,000 workers across 22 departments at Facebook.

One moderator, though, wasn't willing to take a chance. He fled Ireland, where he'd moved as a child as an asylum seeker from Iraq, unsatisfied with Facebook's offer of a home alarm system and transportation to and from work. "The punishment from Isis for working in counter-terrorism is beheading", the unnamed worker told The Guardian. "All they'd need to do is tell someone who is radical here." He claims was hired because he spoke Arabic and said “You come in every morning and just look at beheadings, people getting butchered, stoned, executed.” He then stated that Facebook should have let moderators use fake profiles and that they should have warned them that something like this could happen. He's since returned to Ireland, but is now suing Facebook for psychological damage.

Facebook has renewed their commitment to counterterrorism and recently reported increasing use of AI to identify threats. and are also hiring 3,000 more Community Operations workers.

Airbnb is buying a background check technology to fight scammers.

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 5 years then you know of Airbnb - an online marketplace that enables you to lease or rent a place short-term. The company does not own any property but has over 3,000,000 listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries.

But, Airbnb is getting more serious when it comes to keeping fraudulent listings and shady renters off the website following numerous scams:People posing as home owners,
guests trying to bypass the platform and contact the host directly, and probably the worst of all, scammers are robbing homes by pretending to be users with great reviews.

Airbnb is getting more serious when it comes to keeping fraudulent listings and shady renters off the website following numerous scams.

Initially, Airbnb had to overcome the obstacle of "stranger danger" to build a level of trust between hosts and guests and they did that by requiring user profiles as well as a rating and review system but even that wasn’t enough, according to Bloomberg, Airbnb is buying Trooly Inc., a startup specializing in background checks to fight off scammers. Airbnb has been using Trooly's service to authenticate users since 2015, but now the company is making Trooly technology an integral part of the platform by purchasing its intellectual property and its engineering team.

Airbnb is buying Trooly Inc., a startup specializing in background checks to fight off scammers.

Trooly tries to prevent scams by analyzing data from any public record of the host or renter it can find, including social media.

We hope this move leads to even fewer scams on the website in the future.


Check out some of our previous episodes here:
Hackers Spread Fake News On Twitter! Can Governments Force You To Unlock Your Smartphone? Was British Airways Hacked? Zomato Gets Hacked! The Google Docs Phishing Attack.

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