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Friday, 04 November 2011 10:17

Canadian researchers infiltrate social network

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Socialbots used to steal shedloads of data


Researchers as the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have successfully designed computer programs that are capable of infiltrating social networks and stealing private data.

The researchers managed to access thousands of Facebook accounts with their “socialbots” and they made a clean getaway with about 250GB of personal data. They claim socialbots were able to access personal data with a success rate of up to 80 percent. This was achieved by making socialbots mimic behavior of real Facebook users, which probably means most of them are annoying.

You might think that thousands of accounts and 250GB of data don’t amount to much, but the boffins unleashed just over a hundred socialbots and kept them deployed for eight weeks. Up to 25 friend requests were sent from a single account each day in order to avoid security measures.

As for the gender divide, female bots were a bit more successful than their counterparts. Researchers created 49 male and 53 female socialbots, and the “males” accounted for 15.9 percent of accepted friend requests, while fembots accounted for 22.3 percent.

Facebook’s antihack measures were capable of identifying and blocking only about 20 percent of all bots.

More here.


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