News Roundup 4/24: Fake Facebook accounts, hotel data breaches, and fingerprint scanners
24 Apr 2017
Facebook purges 30,000 fake accounts ahead of French election
Wondering how many fake social media accounts you interacted with today? If you’re a Facebook user, that number is lower than it was yesterday. To prevent fake news from influencing the French presidential election, Facebook is cracking down on fake accounts across 14 countries. They’ve already purged 30,000 accounts.
Since the recent US election, Facebook has been grappling with its role in the consumption of news and formation of public opinion. In the wake of “fake news” election controversy, Facebook has augmented its machine learning technology to better identify fraudulent accounts. The system detects suspicious patterns of behavior to learn whether an account is fake.
InterContinental Hotels suffer a massive data breach
If you’ve stayed at an InterContinental Hotel recently, you might want to check your bank statements. Nearly 1,200 hotels suffered a data breach that resulted in the theft of guests’ credit card information.
According to a preliminary investigation, scammers installed malware at the front desks of several InterContinental-branded franchise hotels. The malware was designed to access payment card data from cards used onsite. As unsuspecting vacationers were kicking back by the Holiday Inn pool, the malware was searching for track data – i.e. cardholder name, card number, expiration date, and internal verification codes – and then reading from the card’s magnetic stripe as it was being routed through the hotel server. The software then nabbed the relevant data from victims’ cards.
MasterCard tests new cards with fingerprint scanners
Consumers who are just getting used to chip readers may soon have new feature to contend with: fingerprint scanners. MasterCard is testing technology that allows credit card users to simply insert their card, put their thumb on it, and walk away with their purchase. The technology is designed to be even more secure and efficient than chip readers.
MasterCard is piloting the biometric card program at a South African supermarket chain. If it tests well, MasterCard will then expand into European and Asian markets. We could be thumbing our way through supermarkets in the U.S. as early as 2018.