Thinking of downloading a cool Facebook app that uploads a new picture of the day from National Geographic? Don’t.
The app, “NG Photo Of The Day” is part of an experiment conducted by researchers in Singapore and Greece to demonstrate how easy it is to distribute harmful applications within Facebook, PC World reports.
The researchers uploaded the app in January (there’s another, much larger National Geographic photo of the day app, which is safe), and within the program planted a bug that would bombard a chosen Web site (they set up a dummy site to monitor the traffic) with a denial-of-service attack when the picture of the day was downloaded.
But that’s just the beginning: researchers said the app could just as easily gather up personal details and post them on a remote server, and various other nefarious activities.
The researchers didn’t advertise or promote the app, but 1,000 people still gave it a whirl, and it’s still up on Facebook. Within the grand scheme of things, that’s a tiny percentage of 100 million-member Facebook community, but its a reminder that users need to be careful about what they’re downloading, and Facebook needs to be more diligent about rooting out wrongdoing among their developers.
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