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"To every victim of this insidious kind of attack, I am here to say: You can fight back, and win."
Dozens of criminal groups that sell stolen bank and credit card details are proliferating on Facebook, an investigation has revealed.
Researchers at Cisco found 74 groups on Facebook that openly traded stolen credit card numbers and bank account details. In total, these groups – dubbed "criminal flea markets" by the researchers – had approximately 385,000 members.
The groups were able to operate openly on Facebook without being shut down, despite enabling the selling and trading of stolen financial information, online account credentials and hacking tools.
In some cases, posts to these criminal groups advertised credit card numbers with their accompanying CVV numbers, as well as identification documents and photos belonging to the victims. Other products on sale included large lists of email addresses for the purpose of spamming.
Facebook said it reviewed the groups after being approached with the researchers' findings. All of them were found to be in violation of the social network's policies and they have now been removed, however the researchers noted that more groups quickly reappeared.
It added: "We know we need to be more vigilant and we're investing heavily to fight this type of activity."