Terry Zink: Security Talk

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

What happens on Facebook stays on Facebook

What happens on Facebook stays on Facebook

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I have read some blog posts by other writers about the "questionable" email practises of tagged.com (wherein they login to your email address book and spams everyone in it, encouraging them to sign up for their own page).  I agree with the other writers' conclusions: that's unethical and looks a lot like spamming.

Facebook is a little different.  When you sign up for them, they ask you for your email and password (while promising never to use it for nefarious purposes), check your address book and then send invites to people in there or cross-reference your address book with people in Facebook with that email address.  In other words, with regards to the latter, they hook you up with your friends that are already in there.

Today, I came across this conspiracy theory page on Facebook.  The creator of the Flash animation lists some uses of Facebook including how they collect information on all of their users and how they reserve the right to sell that information to third party vendors.  This got me to thinking: how will it be before spammers start posing as legitimate marketing companies and start paying for live email addresses like what we see in social networking sites like Facebook?  I think it's only a matter of time before someone tries.  While I don't think Facebook would do anything so foolish as to release user-information to a spammer, some other lesser known social networking sites might.  If somebody in their basement is trying to build their own site and doesn't have good security policies, the lure of easy money might be difficult to resist.


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  • Speaking of tagged.com, if a hacker ever broke in there and collected email addresses and passwords, that list could be worth a lot of money to a spammer.

  • <i>how will it be before spammers start posing as legitimate marketing companies and start paying for live email addresses like what we see in social networking sites like Facebook?  </i>

    About -3.75 years until spammers start doing that.

  • latkins,

    I was thinking more along the lines of spammers creating a legitimate email marketing company as a front organization and then using the lists in their spamming operations. In other words, to the social networking site it looks like they are selling their list to someone on the up-and-up.

  • I thought latkins' estimate was based on the same meaning as tzink's.  Otherwise the answer would be closer to -10 years.

  • Sheesh, apparently I've been living in a cave for not seeing this connection.

    In my defense, over the past few years I've been busy fighting the spam and not researching its origins.  

    In addition, lest this courtyard fool give the wrong impression, I have been aware that marketing companies use dubious non-opt-out marketing tricks, technical recruiters harvest email addresses for "advertisers", companies sell lists to each other, etc, for years.  So I'm not completely clueless, just moderately so.

  • So what do you think about the video?  Do you believe it?  

  •      Good idea!

    P.S. A U realy girl?

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