The BBC Writes Application That Steals Personal Info From Facebook

Feel wary about giving applications access to your Facebook page? Worried one of those quizzes or games might be maliciously harvesting your data? You were right to worry. The BBC had the same idea, so they decided to write a program to do just that. And it worked. Not only did it steal the data of Facebook users who installed the application, it also victimized all of their “friends.”

From the BBC:

We wrote an evil data mining application called Miner, which, if we wanted, could masquerade as a game, a test, or a joke of the day. It took us less than three hours.

But whatever it looks like, in the background, it is collecting personal details, and those of the users’ friends, and e-mailing them out of Facebook, to our inbox.

When you add an application, unless you say otherwise, it is given access to most of the information in your profile. That includes information you have on your friends even if they think they have tight security settings.

Did you know that you were responsible for other people’s security?

Facebook responded by saying that they remove applications that violate their terms of use.

‘Identity’ at risk on Facebook [BBC]

(Thanks, T.J.!)