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New Scam On The App Store Denies Advertisers Access To Their Facebook Marketing Accounts

A new scam has been highlighted by security researchers, which was recently found on the Apple App Store.

The malicious campaign targets advertisers trying to gain access to their marketing accounts across the Facebook platform.

At first glance, the app seems relatively innocent and harmless but that’s far from the reality. It features an image of an iPhone screen that entails all the apps owned by Meta. Hence, you’ll find logos belonging to Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram too.

Analysts say that all you need to do is type Facebook Pages Managers into the search bar on the App Store and that’s when you’ll be forced to choose between a few authentic apps that do the job well. These are designed to assist users and relevant advertisers handle marketing across the app.

But users also saw a new variant added to this collection that seemed more than legit but that’s far from the reality. Moreover, some are even going as far as referring to it as an escape way for hackers trying to gain complete access to users' accounts.

The app is called Pages Manager Suite as confirmed by several marketing agencies who were last seen speaking for an interview with Insider. They shared how the app locked them from entering their own accounts on Facebook, moments after they had used the app.

Meanwhile, it was also unveiled how the hackers started to run their own stream of ads through those respective accounts, generating revenue from others’ directives using their budgets. The app is generally the second one that appears on the search bar when users are in search of an ads manager. This was further confirmed by tests carried out by sources at Insider.

And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll find the terms 2022 Meta Inc. being highlighted as the main company for the app, while the developer is outlined to be Bronzelab SG Ltd. Surprisingly, the latter has no presence on the web.

The seller outlined is delineated to be VI DO CO which has its origins based in Vietnam, research shows. Shockingly, the US carried out a gang of hackers in the country for conducting a malicious chain of hacking attempts, scamming people of $16 million.

Ever since then, we’ve seen Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg call out the App Store and Play Store for having more safeguards in place so such unfortunate events are avoided. After all, the better the customer support, the more users stand protected.

But in recent times, Apple has done nothing but boast about its foolproof security on its App Store and we feel it may have spoken too soon as events like these are increasing as we speak.

Apple recently highlighted how it has not one but many layers of protection in place that make sure its apps are guarded against malicious attempts and aren’t played around with.

As far as this recent incident is concerned, Apple’s spokesperson was seen highlighting how the app was first seen entering as nothing more than a document manager. It had zero links with managing Facebook but the functionality altered when it arrived in the store. Thankfully, Apple has since then removed it after reports from Insider.

So how did the agencies manage to gain access back into their accounts? Well, they called it nothing less than a nightmare but thanks to a quick response to an email by a Facebook director, access was immediately provided. They were also given a breakdown of what had really happened and how the firm was trying hard to get to the bottom of this.


Read next: New Alert Issued For The Mac App Store As Fraudulent Apps Take Center Stage

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