Facebook Under Attack Again – Your Personal Data May Have Hacked !

facebook scam

Facebook is trying its level best to overcome the problem of security, but, apparently, things are becoming more complicated for with each passing day. Few days back Facebook revealed that near about 600,000 daily login accounts are fake and introduced Account Reference for users. However, company has recorded a fresh attack by a Group of Canadian technology researchers who have designed a social networking programme, known as “SocialBots”. It is a look-alike of real Facebook profile which is a mimic of actual profile, taking data from Facebook database. Mainly, these types of programmes are being used by online criminals for generating spam or collecting information of the users, increasing constantly. “SocialBot” is being considered as the fresh threat for both users as well as Facebook since it is one of the most advanced and realistic hacking programmes.

The technology behind the programme is so advanced that it can bypass all securities and pretenses by acting as a real life person with accuracy. Previously, hacking programmes has been affecting the computers with viruses to take control over the computer remotely. They mainly concentrate on stealing personal data from the machine and infect them with spam later. But SocialBot is so sensible that it’s become difficult to determine – for both Facebook and users – whether they are dealing with real human beings or a coded robotic aspect. On statup programme grabs a Facebook profile and behave like a normal person by sending updates and requests to others.

At present the group has created more than 102 such profiles and has more than 3,055 friends. This group is mainly from the University Of British Columbia located  in Vancouver and they are working on SocialBot for last 8 weeks. The program has designed in such a well manner that it respects the Facebook security and each profile sends only 25 friend request in a day.

This results in a massive security breach since more than 3,055 users has accepted the friend request. With the help of these accounts, researchers might be able to collect more than 14,000 postal addresses and 46,500 email addresses as, already reported, on an average each users have more than 150 friends. Researchers may also get success in collecting phone number of the users as well as birth dates. Although the SocialBots has been disabled and data are not getting used any further, the potential threat is much bigger than the situation. Luckily, it’s just a research that has performed by a group of researchers to check the security of Facebook, but the possibility of re-occurrence from illegitimate source is quite high in the future. Therefore, company needs to strong its security system by adding several enhanced features.

On the overall result Facebook has made a statement:

“The experiment was unrealistic due to the fact that IP addresses used by the SocialBots had come from a trusted university source, whilst a real spam attack would have come from IP addresses used by real-life criminals and would have raised alarm bells. Facebook also claimed that they disabled more of the fake SocialBot accounts than the researchers claimed they had”.

“We have numerous systems designed to detect fake accounts and prevent scraping of information. We are constantly updating these systems to improve their effectiveness and address new kinds of attacks. We use credible research as part of that process. We have serious concerns about the methodology of the research by the University of British Colombia and we will be putting these concerns to them. In addition, as always, we encourage people to only connect with people they actually know and report any suspicious behavior they observe on the site,” as said by Facebook spokesperson.

If such things will be triggered by possible hackers, how Facebook will manage to control the situation as social media titan is suffering from security settings from the day of it launch. One of the most interesting facts is that the situation is not new for Facebook. On September 23rd 2010, company had almost taken the internet down for several hours virtually when similar situation was occurred.

Though Facebook has been criticized several times on similar aspects in the past but still we see not so concrete resolution to avoid such embarrassment. Is Mark Zuckerberg is taking such issues lightly against the growth and possible upcoming IPO ? Time for him to sit on think tank !


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