Meta and Apple apparently passed on user data to criminals
According to media reports, there was a recent leak of sensitive user data. Both Apple and Meta were affected. Emergency requests were misused for this, but they were not genuine. The criminals exploited a data disclosure procedure that is normally used in an urgent terrorist case.
Apple and Meta affected
Both Apple and the Facebook group Meta have been the target of persistent hackers time and again in recent years. Private user data is often targeted by criminals. In this case, the so-called emergency data queries were the central focus. These were forged. Information such as the IP address as well as the phone number or address was given out.
Privacy precautions bypassed
The various data protection precautions were elegantly circumvented, and the perpetrators posed as law enforcement officers. Allegedly, it was necessary to obtain particularly urgent information about various users. In the U.S. in particular, such emergencies are handled specially when it comes to terrorist attacks. These requests are processed faster than a regular request. This is how the criminals were able to gain access to the system. The urgent requests were sent out directly from the law enforcement system. From there, the requests were then also accepted accordingly. Allegedly, it was not possible to wait for a court order. Normally, however, such a court order is necessary to release the data. However, such an emergency data request is an exception only in urgent cases. Any official verification is thus bypassed by the applicant.
Teenager targeted by investigators
The only thing a hacker needs for this is a single email account from the police. Experts have already targeted a few perpetrators in this regard. It is probably teenagers from the UK and the US who send these fraudulent requests in the name of the investigating authority. The Lapsus$ group is associated with this. In recent weeks, other IT groups such as Samsung, Microsoft and Vodafone have also been attacked in a similar manner.
Normally, Meta always checks such data requests for legal accessibility. Compromised accounts are blocked immediately, and close cooperation is maintained with law enforcement. Both Apple and Meta refer to their own policies in this regard.