Facebook pictures can reveal your secrets

By siliconindia   |   Wednesday, 03 August 2011, 00:13 IST   |    1 Comments
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Bangalore: If you are an active Facebook user and if you have the habit of uploading all your photos, then beware as you will be terrified to know that behind your photos, there might be hidden kilobytes of data which are totally invisible, a list of all your passwords and even your credit card number. With the most advanced hacking techniques today, it is completely possible!! "Stegobot", a proof-of-concept botnet, is designed by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in New Delhi, India. It attaches to Facebook profiles, and more certainly, steals users' confidential information, such as online banking and email passwords, through their Facebook pictures. Stegobot is developed by the researchers with an intention to show how easy it is for a hacker to use Facebook photos to surreptitiously spread large-scale online attacks. New Scientist explained that Stegobot uses the technique of steganography to hide the data in picture files without changing the picture's appearance. It is possible if Stegobot got its hands on it that the 720x720 pixel image could be sheltering 50 kilobytes of data - plenty of space to hide and "transmit any passwords or credit card numbers that Stegobot might find on your hard drive," New Scientist wrote. After the botnet hides your personal information in a photo and a friend views your Facebook page, their computer automatically becomes infected. They do not even have to click on the corrupted photo for Stegobot to work. The masses of stolen data makes their way back to the botnet operator from there, who can extract the payload from each picture and can use it in whatever devious manner he wishes. But what brings a relief is that Stegobot only exists in a lab, for now.