Academics from the University of Iowa have devised a new method to detect when a Facebook application is shared. data with third parties.
The method is called CanaryTrap and details about it were released by the group in a document entitled: “CanaryTrap: Detecting Data Misuse by Third-Party Apps on Online Social Networks".
H technique based on the so-called honeytokens, which are forged data placed in one network by security experts. Once this data is compromised, the researchers are able to detect any malicious activity.
In order to present their technique, the academics used emails with which they had created Facebook accounts. The researchers installed a Facebook app, used it for 15 minutes, and then uninstalled the app from account.
The researchers then monitored incoming emails. When incoming people continued to receive messages, it was obvious that the application had shared data with third parties.
In addition, the research team used the Facebook tool. " Why Am I Seeing This;To track if any of the advertisers used any email to target users with ads.
The team used CanaryTrap on 1.024 Facebook applications and found that at least 16 of them shared their emails with third parties after receiving messages from unknown senders. Of these, nine reported that they shared some data with some of the company's partners, but the remaining seven applications did not mention anywhere that they shared data with third parties.
The researchers also found that some of the messages they received were malicious or spam.
According to the researchers, the sample they examined was quite small, so it is almost certain that there are many more Facebook applications that share data with third parties.
The academics published the CanaryTrap survey and related tools in GitHub, to help other security researchers.
A Facebook spokesman said the company was still studying the CanaryTrap document. As early as last year, Facebook sued several developers and modified its terms of service and policies in order to gain more power to enforce strict data controls. user.