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Cybersecurity

Tech Giants Duped Into Giving Up Data Used to Sexually Extort Minors

  • Alphabet, Apple among firms that complied with fake requests
  • Attackers using pilfered data to harass and sexually extort
Alphabet Inc. Google And Gmail Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Major technology companies have been duped into providing sensitive personal information about their customers in response to fraudulent legal requests, and the data has been used to harass and even sexually extort minors, according to four federal law enforcement officials and two industry investigators.

The companies that have complied with the bogus requests include Meta Platforms Inc., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Snap Inc., Twitter Inc. and Discord Inc., according to three of the people. All of the people requested anonymity to speak frankly about the devious new brand of online crime that involves underage victims.