Malware City just published a very interesting experiment. Creating a 20-year old girl persona they contacted and befriended 2,000 people.
The study focuses on how easily social network users make new virtual acquaintances by accepting friend requests sent out by perfect strangers, and on what kind of information they disclose to these recent friends.
Malware City doesn’t reveal which social network they have used for the study but they reveal “First, a social network was chosen. The choice was based on the fact that the network was large enough to make it possible for the “friends” sample to meet the representativeness criterion.” Taking into consideration the size and the possibilities of communication, my guess is Facebook was used for the study.
Second, a test-profile was created in order to analyze a so-called “friendship rate” as a function of sex, age and interests. This test-profile was that of a fair-haired woman, aged 21, acting as a very, very naïve interlocutor.
In my opinion it’s a very interesting study. I am quoting one of the most striking results here:
“…after a 2 hour conversation, 73% revealed what appears to be confidential information from their work place, such as future strategies, plans, and unreleased technologies/software.”