Apple and Facebook may have given private user information to hackers, report says

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The information allegedly given to hackers included user addresses and phone numbers.

James Martin/CNET

Apple and Facebook parent company Meta may have handed over personal customer information, including addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses, last year in response to hackers presenting fake legal documents, a report said.

The data was given to hackers posing as law enforcement officers, using fake emergencies data requests In mid-2021, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing three unnamed sources.

While they didn’t specifically state whether they transferred user data, Apple and Meta both pointed to their processes for handling government emergency requests.

“We review every data request for legal adequacy and use advanced systems and processes to validate law enforcement requests and detect abuses,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in an emailed statement. “We are blocking known compromised accounts from making requests and are working with law enforcement to respond to incidents of suspected fraudulent requests, as we did in this case.”

Apple pointed to its law enforcement guidelines, Section II E, of which Section 3 says:

“If a government or law enforcement agency is seeking customer information in response to an emergency government and law enforcement information request, it may contact a government or law enforcement supervisor who submitted the government and law enforcement emergency information request and request confirmation from Apple that the emergency request was legit.”

Snapchat owner Snap also reportedly received one request for data, but it’s unclear if the company complied. A Snap spokesperson told CNET via email that Snap has built safeguards into its processes to detect fraudulent requests from law enforcement, including those made by hackers.

According to Bloomberg, some of the hackers could be minors in the US and UK, with one possibly behind the recent Lapsus$ Cyber ​​Attacks on Microsoft, Samsung and Nvidia

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