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Socialbots May Be Capable to 'Stealing' Facebook Profile Info

Recently, researchers demonstrated of a new technique through which personal information provided on Facebook may be stolen.

Researches used Socialbots, a computer program, capable of mimicking any real profile on Facebook, to harvest huge amounts of personal data.

Socialbots, which can be purchased from the Internet for just $29, are highly used by cyber criminals these days.

In response, Facebook said that this research is overstating and also unethical. Socialbot is a kind of botnet that cyber criminals use to spread spam.

It is a different kind of botnet, capable of presenting itself as an actual Facebook user. By taking over a profile in any social networking website, the socialbot software starts performing basic acts like sending out friend requests as well as posting messages.

The research included 102 socialbots as well as a "botmaster" software to send commands to the 102 bots. The research was conducted by four researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

The research took place over a period of eight weeks. During this period, the bots sent 8570 friend requests out of which 3055 requests were accepted, according a report (opens in new tab) from the BBC.

However, to prevent Facebook's fraud detection software from detecting wrongdoing, the bot- operated profile sent only 25 friend requests per day.