Patrice Riemens on Tue, 11 Mar 2014 16:40:55 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium Part One, section #7,

Sorry folks, this part was inadvertently not posted. Reason: change of
machines (switch from Vogogna to Firenze, then to Amsterdam). So you
should read it (or keep it) _before_ my previous post, which was section
#7, 4.
(  section
#7, 2 is at:


Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, Part One, section #7, 3

(privacy no more) (contd)

There are also other methods, which are simpler and just as effective,
while they demand less mathematical knowledge. They do, however, require
an ability to build websites and to be conversant with malicious code
writing: we're talking /browser history stealing & hijacking/ here [36].
Our personal or collective fingerprint/trail can easily by traced/tracked
down through the data kept by the search engines we make use of,
especially if we never clear our browser history and keep the cookies and
the log-ins active all the time. To get hold of these data, suffice to
lure users to a bait-site with the promise of funky gifts or free porn.
Works always (almost - transl). Hidden java or other code then hoovers,
uploads and stores search and browser history, cookies, passwords,
software used, keystrokes, well, pretty much everything, and then
cross-checks the data so obtained. It's even easier when people make use
of LSO (/Local Shared Object/) where flash or flex  supercookies are
centralised on database servers cannot normally be deleted. [37]

/Socialbots/, earlier mentionned, where the object of a recent experiment
by Vancouver University researchers, which showed how badly secured social
networks are [38]. This is mainly due to the weakest link, the human
being,  who has the tendency to 'mechanize' more and more her/his access
to social networks behaviour and is hence easily imitated by machines.
This is the way to infiltrate these (social) networks for des-information
and propaganda.  The larger the infiltrated network is, the better such
campaigns work out. The Canadian researchers' experiment shows how /social
bots/ fake real users' behaviour. First they create bogus profiles and
start sending 'friendship requests' around. Their responses are then
attuned to the various reactions of the real users. Within eight weeks,
the /socialbots/ had managed to infiltrate 80% of the targets, as could be
ascertained from the users' chosen privacy parameters, and thus had
established themselves as steady nodes in an on-line network of trust.
When a /socialbot/ has got the trust of an internaut, it can get access to
private data, just like a human being. In that case, one's information is
even more exposed than if its access was completely public since other
users are convinced that they have to do with 'friends' and not some
malicious codes intent on pilfering their data. These research outcomes
prove, if ever needed, that Facebook's so much vaunted 'immunity' security
systems are totally inadequate to prevent large-scale malevolent

[36] "Attack Unmasks User Behind The Browser" ('A group of researchers
have discovered a simple way to reveal the identity of a user based on his
interactions with social networks.')(2010):
More technical: A Practical Attack to De-anonymize Social Network Users:;
(abstract at: (IEEExplore)
[37] On LSO supercookies, see:
As far as we are aware of, Better Privacy does protect against
super-cookies, but cannot prevent profiling.
[38] Yazan Boshmaf, Ildar Muslukhov, Konstantin Beznozov, Matei Ripeanu:
The Socialbot Network: When Bots Socialize for Fame and Money: (abstract, pdf downloadable from

Translated by Patrice Riemens
This translation project is supported and facilitated by:
The Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
The Antenna Foundation, Nijmegen
( - Dutch site)
( - english site under construction)
Casa Nostra, Vogogna-Ossola, Italy

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