Man uses malware to hijack 25,000 Facebook accounts

By Viet Tuan   May 7, 2024 | 04:47 pm PT
Man uses malware to hijack 25,000 Facebook accounts
Dang Dinh Son at a police station in Nam Dinh Province. Photo by police
Police in northern Vietnam have arrested a man who used malware to steal information and take control of 25,000 Facebook accounts both domestically and internationally, reaping profits of VND90 billion (US$3.8 million).

Dang Dinh Son, 31, a local in Nam Dinh Province, is being investigated for manufacturing, buying, selling, exchanging, or gifting tools, equipment, software for unlawful purposes, as well as unauthorized access to computer networks, telecommunications networks, or electronic devices of others.

Additionally, 19 others who worked for Son are being investigated for similar charges, police said Monday.

Earlier, the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention under Ministry of Public Security, in collaboration with Nam Dinh police, launched eight reconnaissance teams in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Nam Dinh, arresting 22 members of the group involved in producing and spreading malware online to hijack user accounts and data in Vietnam and globally.

According to the police, Son purchased a malware source with the function of stealing Facebook user account information on a forum for VND30 million.

Son then used this malware to take control of two fan pages, "Art Bay AI" and "Evoto Studio," and posted fake articles about creating beautiful images using AI or ChatGPT to lure users into downloading and installing the malware on their computers or phones.

Once installed, the malware infiltrated users' devices, collected information, and transmitted it back to a server controlled by Son.

With the information collected via malware, Son commanded the server to distribute the stolen data to five groups on the Telegram app for his team members to hijack user accounts.

The high-value Facebook accounts were sold for profit by Son's group. Other accounts of lesser value were used to run advertisements for selling clothing and other items on e-commerce platforms.

Using these tactics, Son's group managed to hijack 25,000 high-value business accounts on Facebook belonging to individuals and businesses in Vietnam and several other countries, reaping VND90 billion in profits.

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