Did you tweet your BBM PIN? We know about it

BlackBerry officially released BBM for Android and iOS on 22nd Oct, 2013. And within 24 hours, the net download of the BBM app had hit 10m. People are crazily sharing there BBM PINs all over the Internet, most popular places being Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Several hashtags related to BBM have been trending on Twitter at various locations and this is what caught our eye – people sharing their PINs recklessly, seeking for friends, bragging about getting a PIN finally before the others or after a long wait! Do you think there is no harm in posting your PIN publicly? Then go through several posts on BlackBerry forums about users being spammed through PIN to PIN messages. Publicly posting the PIN is a definite invitation to spam.

When such a huge amount of BBM PIN sharing caught our attention, Mayank and I (with some inputs from PK) quickly used some of our old scripts and put together this website which displays the most recent tweets where users have shared their BBM PINS in plain text

There might be few false positives or a couple of encoding errors here and there, but we have tried to keep the errors as low as possible. Have a look at the volume of tweets with BBM PINs. In a span of less than a day, we collected about 79K tweets talking about BBM and about 24K (and constantly increasing) tweets with BBM PINs in plain text. Some users are even sharing their PINs via Instagram images and screenshots of their phone screen.

If you are interested in knowing more, please write to pk [at] iiitd [dot] ac [dot] in.

Author: anupama

PhD student at IIIT-Delhi | Researcher @PreCog | Works on Security and Privacy on Online Social Media