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Researchers find privacy flaws in Chatroulette


Perhaps there is finally something to deter Chatroulette.com users from their more offensive behavior, PC World reports: University researchers say that users of the popular video-chat site might not be as anonymous, or as private, as they think. In a paper posted online this week, researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and McGill University outline three different types of attacks that could be launched against Chatroulette users. Founded last year by 17-year-old Russian entrepreneur Andrey Ternovskiy, Chatroulette links web surfers randomly into one-on-one video chat conversations. The site has come under fire, however, because of nudity and inappropriate behavior. The new research doesn’t expose any gaping privacy holes, but it does show how the service could be misused by determined criminals. For example, researchers describe a type of video phishing attack, where the criminals would simply play a video of an attractive woman who appears to be chatting with the victim, with audio disabled. The novelty and apparent intimacy of a chat session could make it easier to con people into friending scammers on Facebook or even visiting malicious web sites, said Richard Han, an associate professor with the University of Colorado who co-authored the paper. An and other researchers also found a way to make Chatroulette’s anonymous chats much less anonymous…

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