Is The Mob Using Your Facebook Profile Against You?

from the nice-profile-you-got-there...-wouldn't-want-anything-to-happen-to-it... dept

Over the years, of course, there have been plenty of stories about potential dates and potential employers reviewing social networking profiles to learn more about someone. Then, we just had a story about some universities reviewing social networking profiles as part of the admissions process. But the latest story is that organized crime may be getting into the game as well. A former FBI agent is claiming that both the Italian and Russian mobs are using social networking profiles to "launch attacks" on individuals and businesses. Of course, the details seem really, really slim. About the only thing the guy says is that if your CV/resume is online, that can be used against you -- but that's hardly a "social networking" problem. Plus, in many cases, that's pretty public information. This sounds like a lot more scare mongering than anything to necessarily worry about right now. In the meantime, though, are we going to start seeing Twitter messages from mobsters? "Nice list of followers you've got here... wouldn't want to see anything happen to them..."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 5:27am

    Witness Protection

    Only way it could be useful to the mob IMO. Worse, if you are in witness protection your kid could potentially get you all killed if you don't know how to monitor all of that to keep your kid off it.

    Always wondered why folks who go into Witness Protection have kids. I mean if you already had the kid fine but why bring them in if there is a good chance you're gonna be a smear?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    JustMe, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Funny Twitter Joke, Mike


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Uday Shankar, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 6:20am

    Is Mike Masnick Working For The Mob?

    No, but I'm going to imply that by asking a question as a headline.

    Is it really that slow of a news day? I'd rather have you post nothing than post this nonsense. If you've posted something on the internet, someone has probably already seen it and masturbated to it. So all these stories about people viewing your Facebook profile and "using it against you" are really just boring fluff articles.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 6:58am

    Re: Is Mike Masnick Working For The Mob?

    I disagree, I think it is always good to know that the idiots are claiming dangers in facebook instead of trying to pass laws that really could be dangerous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Michial, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    It has been going on for years

    Back in 2003 I was called into my office managers office and almost fired. He had received a "disturbing" phone call, and was concerned.

    My office manager told me that the call he received had accused me of offering to sell information collected by my employer about it's customers. The caller claimed I had offered him the names, address, SSNs and even Credit Card information for sale.

    Needless to say I am lucky that my boss at least doubted the callers claim. It resulted in several weeks suspension while I took Polygraph tests, and worked with the police to catch the caller. After almost 6 weeks we found out that it was a kid that I had kicked off of an RC-Helicopter list I managed at the time. He had gotten pissed an wanted to get back at me.

    We found him from the log files of my web server, and thank god he turned out to be someone local...

    Since then I quit putting my resume online.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Alex, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 8:19am

    Kidnapping in Mexico


    In Latin America kidnapping has become very commoon and, according to an email that's been circulating for months now, kidnappers are using social networks to find targets. How? They supposedly look for people posting pictures of their trips or their houses.

    Not quite the mob but organized crime in the end. What do you think? Does this seem plausible to you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Mark K, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 8:41am

    Re: Is Mike Masnick Working For The Mob?

    Yes! Spread the FUD!

    If we don't keep people afraid, they may stop relying on us for their breathing privileges.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Greg, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    not that hard

    I work in data security. We have performed studies which point to the fact that 40-60% of the population's passwords can (easily) be learned or some other way garnered from your social networking/blog pages.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Guillermo, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 11:15am

    This was big news in Mexico a couple of weeks ago

    I don't know about russian or italian mobs, but there was a big kidnapping case in Mexico involving the kidnapping of the 14 year old son of a known businessman, which ended in the death of the teenager. Several news outlets then started claiming that the kidnappers found about this kid's social status based on the vacation photos he posted on facebook, and warned about the potential risk involved in posting personal information (including trips and social events) on sites that made the information public. Even Facebook created a statement regarding this news on its website. Now, even though the kidnappers were finally arrested, there has been no confirmation to whether they used Facebook or other social network to gather information about the kid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Johnny Canada, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Facebook being used to recruit spies

    If you look over on CNet

    You can also become a spy using Facebook.

    Is it Facbook Bashing Day

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    At a recent talk sponsored by one of the largest insurance companies in the US, the speaker made two points he said members of the audience should not forget: (1) stay out of Mexico and (2) stay off Facebook. He said that going onto Facebook is the equivalent of handing out your wallet on a subway car. Facebook sells your personal information and what little they don't sell [yet] is hacked into by teenagers in Europe who are paid to discover whether you are or a member of your family is worth kidnapping. I will remember each of (1) and (2) and you had better too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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