How safe is your online social network? Not very, as it turns out. Your friends may not even be human, but rather bots siphoning off your data and influencing your decisions with convincing yet programmed points of view.
A team of computer researchers at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia has found that hordes of social bots could not only spell disaster for large online destinations like Facebook and Twitter but also threaten the very fabric of the Web and even have implications for our broader economy and society.
[ The Web browser is your portal to the world -- as well as the conduit that lets in many security threats. InfoWorld's expert contributors show you how to secure your Web browsers in this "Web Browser Security Deep Dive" PDF guide. ]
Four UBC scientists designed a "social botnet" -- an army of automatic "friends." A botmaster herds its troop of social bots, each of which mimics a person like you and me. The researchers then unleashed the social botnet on an unsuspecting Facebook and its billion-plus profiles.
Continued : http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/070813-your-facebook-friends-may-be-271597.html
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