‘Socialbots’ Invade Facebook: Cull 250GB of Private Data
Facebook was recently invaded by a robot army created by four researchers to demonstrate the ease at which online social networks can be maliciously exploited by the unscrupulous.
With a horde of 102 bogus Facebook friends, the University of British Columbia researchers showed that they could harvest personal information on members not publically available on the social network and that its defenses were inadequate to cope with a large scale infiltration.
During the course of an eight week campaign on Facebook, the researchers gathered 250GB of information from thousands of the social network's members. Their "sockpuppet" bots were "friended" by more than 3000 members and the network reached more than a million profiles.