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All Your Contacts Are Belong to Us: Automated Identity Theft Attacks on Social Networks

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Executive Summary

Social networking sites have been increasingly gaining popularity. Well-known sites such as Facebook have been reporting growth rates as high as 3% per week. Many social networking sites have millions of registered users who use these sites to share photographs, contact long-lost friends, establish new business contacts and to keep in touch. In this paper, the authors investigate how easy it would be for a potential attacker to launch automated crawling and identity theft attacks against a number of popular social networking sites in order to gain access to a large volume of personal user information.

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