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Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology developed an IRC (internet relay chat) bot that acts as a ‘man in the middle’ between two unsuspecting users, modifies URLs passed between them and also is capable of steering the conversation. Not only does this work surprisingly well on IRC — they found a 76.1% click rate for potentially malicious URLs — but four out of 10 people on Facebook chat also clicked on links after the bot introduced complete strangers to each other. This would have worked even better if the bot were to clone existing friends’ profiles and submit friend requests from those, say researchers.