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Thursday, 29 July 2010 09:18

Facebook files leaked online

Written by Nick Farell


User security they have heard of it
A directory which has private data of  more than 171 million Facebook users has tipped up on a P2P site.

The 2.8GB torrent was compiled by hacker Ron Bowes of Skull Security, Bowes built a web crawler program that harvested data on users contained in Facebook's open access directory. This lists all users who haven't
bothered to change their privacy settings to make their pages unavailable to search engines.

Bowes' directory contains 171 million entries, relating to more than 100 million users which is about one in five of Facebook's half billion users. Apparently the file contains user account names and a URL for each user's profile page.  It is possible to use this to get addresses, dates of birth or phone numbers.You can also use the list to look at friends profiles even if they have made themselves non-searchable.

Lawyers say that there is nothing illegal about what Bowes has done. The information was put up for public display, it has just never been searched quite so thoroughly. It might make users think what information they are making publically available on Facebook. But then again, we doubt it.

Nick Farell

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