Hundreds of unsuspecting high school girls posting their pics to Facebook landed on the profile pages of a free sex child pornography website run by Eastern European cyber thieves, reports the FBI.
The innocent profile pictures of the girls, all of them fully clothed, nevertheless contained some information which could lead to the discovery of their identity by intrepid porno hounds.
The FBI is investigating the site, with hosting servers in Ohio, but is being thwarted by the source website which is located in Eastern Europe, beyond the reach of American law enforcement authorities.
Despite efforts to close down the free sex site, police report that the unidentified site was still up and running as late as Thursday.
In a new twist on an old scam, it appears the pictures are posted to attract child porn surfers looking for real girls lured in to the increasingly prolific world of web pornography.
There is no reason to believe any of these young victims were aware their profile photos were being used by pornographers, but the danger remains that they could be contacted or tracked down by unsavory individuals.
This may have a chilling effect on the future of Facebook profile pictures being used against a poster's intent. So far, Facebook has yet to weigh in on the matter, but any parent of an underage teenage girl should be aware that the potential for this kind of new and dangerous use of innocent photos is likely to spread.
Facebook does have a policy of attempting to control content posted by minors, but that is largely ignored because of the site's worldwide popularity.
That may change. Soon.