As strange as it might sound, we have a new report which reveals that even Facebook was unable to track its own user on the platform. This report regarding Facebook mentions that the company had to pay for a spying tool which let them spy on a user and hack the information which was later handed over to the FBI and it was later found out that the user who was hacked was a serious child abuser. So we can say that everything worked out well in the end.
But now let’s understand what made Facebook buy this tool in order to hack the user and why it couldn’t do the same in-house. The report mentions that a “California man harassed and terrorized young girls, extorting them for nude photos and videos and threatening to kill and rape them or shoot up their schools”. This user with the Facebook account named Buster Hernandez or “Brian Kil,” was discovered by Facebook and they paid a security firm to develop the hack. Eventually, the FBI used the same hack in order to track Hernandez and catch him to stop harassing girls.
The report from Motherboard also mentions that Facebook paid this security firm “six figures” to develop hacking tool “that could infiltrate the privacy-focused Tails OS” which is what the user was having. The report also mentions how the tool was able to track this user and it is said that they “took advantage of a flaw in the Tails’ video player and revealed the real IP address of the person viewing the video”. From the real IP address, it was easy to track the person since the FBI already has tools for the same in their arsenal. After that, the FBI planned a booby-trapped video from a victim to send it to the abuser which meant his downfall.