Facebook’s chief information security officer and head of security policy have shared an overview of the company’s security results for the last year, and it looks like they and their teams have been very busy indeed.
Facebook’s focus has been on three key areas — countering covert influence operations, disrupting the surveillance-for-hire operators, and improving account security.
Since 2017, Facebook has this year dealt with over 200 covert influence networks that were in breach of the company’s Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior policy. The networks operated in 68 countries and in dozens of languages. Most of them targeted individuals in their own countries, but one-third targeted foreign audiences.
Most of the networks operated in Russia, with Iran and Mexico the next most prolific. The most targeted country was, unsurprisingly, the United States, followed by Ukraine and the UK. Interestingly, Russian influence operations targeted Ukraine the most, with a range of African countries next and the US after that.
When it comes to surveillance-for-hire and spyware, Facebook has disrupted global operators from a range of countries, including Russia, Israel, and the US. These operations reached nearly 200 countries. In a blog post, Facebook has said the global reach of these operations requires a broader response from both industry and social groups.