Using Facebook to launch a Botnet army
Wired has a piece talking about how easy this would be to do. It's not entirely speculative since researchers built such a beast. I think the hype is a bit much though. The argument they make could be made for any mechanism that can get people to install software on their own computers. But unlike most other means, such an attack seems really easy to countermeasures. It wouldn't take long to figure it out and Facebook could easily send out a notice telling you to uninstall it. Much like human viruses, computer viruses and botnets are only really effective if they are allowed to exist in the infected host for a period of time, at least long enough to spread in the case of viruses, or long enough to be used in the case of botnets. I'm not so naive to think that some Facebook users aren't all that computer savvy, but overall I think it's a demographic that's fairly sophisticated. And they talk to each other a lot. Even if every facebook users downloaded the app (something really hard to fathom), it seems it would be pretty easy to eradicate. The more popular and more pernicious the bots, the more buzz there would be. That's not to say they don't raise some good points and that Facebook shouldn't try to prevent such things from happening, but it seems like it's only worrisome in the theoretical sense.