Many internet users love social media so Paypal designed the Venmo app
to target the Facebook crowd. Sign up for the service with the privacy focused Facebook login
and the Venmo app will allow you to send money to friends and make purchases at approved merchants. You can even see what your friends are buying within the app! It even brags that "We'll never post without your permission." What most fail to realize is that the default settings for the app are set to public and security researcher Hang Do Thi Duc
has already been scraping data from the service
for over a year.
It seems that the Facebook crowd likes to pay for drugs, alcohol, and sex
with the Venmo app. Some enterprising person has setup a bot connected to a Twitter account
that scrapes the app for drug references and images. Then it reposts their messages and pictures for the world to see. I love social media because there is never a dull day watching people fail.
Posted by cageymaru 8:37 PM (CDT)
The Cannabis Retailer
With access to the first name, I could infer that this person was male. I was also able to determine that he operates out of Santa Barbara, California. You might wonder how: some of his customers have a Facebook URL as their profile picture which includes their Facbeook ID and so it was easy for me to see where some of them, and therefore the protagonist of this story as well, live. Someone I've called Ronny made the following 19 payments to the drug dealer throughout the year with references to cannabis.