Third-party Apps

Third-party apps are developed by companies other than the ones that make the platform. They run on or the website that hosts them. Although the term “first-party apps” isn’t frequently used (we’ll use it in this post to clarify which is which), you may think of them as such. Wikipedia

third-party apps
third-party apps

The owner of the device or website may approve or disapprove of third-party apps. For instance, Apple developed the Safari web browser app, which is a first-party, built-in program for the iPhone. Still, there are other web browser apps available in the App Store that Apple only authorized for use on the iPhone. They are third-party applications. Some apps that Facebook didn’t create are allowed to operate on its social media platform. These are independent apps.

Security Risks

Third-party Apps
third-party apps

A thriving ecosystem of third-party apps that have access to the personal data of many users is supported by online social networks. Despite several recent high-profile occurrences, there are currently no systematic procedures to identify third-party programs on online social networks that misuse data. To detect the misuse of data exchanged with third-party apps, we recommend CanaryTrap. After sharing a honeytoken with the third-party app, CanaryTrap links the honeytoken to a user account and tracks any unauthorized usage of the token across several routes. We created and used CanaryTrap to view Facebook data sharing with third-party apps that may have been misused.

Third-party Apps
Third-party Apps

By using a third-party app, we specifically reveal the email address linked to a Facebook account as a honeytoken. After that, we keep an eye on the emails we’ve received and utilize Facebook’s transparency tool to look for any unauthorized uses of the shared honey token. Using CanaryTrap to monitor 1,024 Facebook apps, we have found numerous instances of data sharing gone wrong, including malware, spam, and targeted advertising.

Research Paper on third-party apps

A good research paper written on third-party apps security risks is here:

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