Report revealed to the newspaper “Vice“Facebook paid money to cyber security experts to develop a hacking tool and then shared it with the FBI to help the agency hack into a user who was abusing the social network to blackmail, threaten and harass underage girls.”
According to the report, a “person named” Buster Hernandez “- who confessed to his crimes earlier this year – and who has been charged with 41 counts, including child pornography, child coercion and seduction, death threats, kidnapping and injury among others, – used a mixture of Private browsing tools and messaging apps, along with email and Facebook, blackmail victims with a bunch of nude photos and videos and threaten them with rape and violence.
Facebook employees told Vice Hernandez had caused so much damage on the platform and was so skilled in concealing his identity that even Facebook felt that he had no choice but to help law enforcement track down him, although the decision was controversial.
Hernandez was using it Tails, An operating system that helps hide the identity of users and is relied upon by criminals as well as activists to hide their true identity, and a Facebook spokesman told Business Insider Both the company and the FBI spent a lot of time trying to locate Hernandez, but to no avail.
Facebook eventually turned to a third-party cybersecurity company, and paid them at least $ 100,000 to work with one of its engineers to develop a vulnerability for Tails, Then give this tool to the FBI.
A Facebook spokesman confirmed that the company chose this path only after exploring every other option and that it had recruited a third party because it does not specialize in building these types of tools and does not want to give law enforcement agencies the impression that they will be able to develop another one in the future.
The spokesman added in a statement sent via email: “The only acceptable result for us was that he faced Buster Hernandez His punishment for mistreating young girls, and this was a unique case, because he was using such sophisticated methods to conceal his identity, that we took extraordinary steps to work with security experts to help. “