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Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Economy and Business, Security |

The blogger who uncovered the black market data from Facebook users

The blogger who uncovered the black market data from Facebook users

Everyone knows that the are handled by as a mere commodity to other companies. A recent story goes a step beyond, a blogger and activist who managed to buy data from more than one million users (and not Facebook itself) of this social network for just five dollars, as has Forbes .

The blogger in question is Bogomil Shopov , digital rights activist of the Czech Republic, who posted on his own blog the news of this acquisition. This revealed the existence of a black market for personal data of Facebook users. I just bought more than one million users … Facebook Details! OMG!, Shopov wrote Tuesday in his blog. A revelation that, of course, worried the company, which soon contact him.

By email, I asked for a phone that more direct contact. Shopov agreed, and the subsequent call, asking him not to broadcast the thorny information he had discovered, and to erase the content already published. The social network itself alerted him that the call was being recorded, every time they tried to downplay the issue by ensuring that the call was in order to ‘improve service’. Shopov had already explained that the list had even found several accounts of his friends. A list of users who had mayoritamiente data originating in the United States, Canada, the UK and the rest of Europe. Specifically, user names, real names, and associated emails. And as I was responsible for investigating, had not been obtained only through unprotected accounts, publicly accessible. They had also allegedly private accounts with hidden data.

Facebook, days later, tried to spread a different version: these data could be registered only users by tracking unprotected accounts which extract information. Theory that conflicts with the version of the blogger, and logic. The effort to trace an unknown number of accounts to achieve 1.1 million unprotected find and organize your information, is unlikely to be viable, let alone sold for the paltry sum of five dollars. The method was different: to collect data through Facebook’s internal applications.

The offer was published on the platform Gigbucks Mertem by the user, who held the application version, and tried to entice potential buyers to ensure that users of this list were active users, and that to have any product or service to offer, this information was potentially interesting for the seller.

The moral of this story is bizarre that aims to expand Shopov: Anyone is able to obtain data on the Internet outside, but especially users who agree to the terms and conditions of service of third party applications, in which case your personal data will stop directly to developers who already have them in your hands and can do anything with them. Like for example, sell a pack for a few dollars to the first interested to see them. This blogger is not a novice at this, is involved in numerous activities and platforms for the defense of freedom and on the net and tied the Pirate Party. So far progress has been made available to few: to alert a team of computer security engineers a social network with over one billion users .

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