Friday, July 30, 2010

Newsy: 100 Million Facebook Profiles Leaked to the Public

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Personal details from more than 100 million Facebook profiles have been made public after a security consultant Ron Bowes 'harvested' the data and made it available for download.
“A hundred million. That’s how many Facebook users profiles are now available to download to anybody. The security consultant who hacked the information says, he did it to show that Facebook settings are confusing and comprimise user information.” (Fox News)
Never before has so much personal information been available in one publically available spot.
Or, so says, secruity consultant Ron Bowes who gathered all the personal data of 100 MILLION Facebook users stuff they hadn’t protected and put it in one easily available download.
Lots of people have availed themselves of that information.
We’re analyzing coverage of this very public listing - from Fox News, The BBC, the Herald in Scotland, Tech Crunch and Thinq.com.
Pictures, birthdays, nicknames, pals. You name it. Bowes gathered it and posted it online, whenceforth it was then re-downloaded time and time again. Bowes defends his actions, telling the BBC... "I am of the belief that, if I can do something then there are about 1,000 bad guys that can do it too. I believe in open disclosure of issues like this, especially when there's minimal potential for anybody to get hurt.”
Indeed, much of this information was already public. Just not all in one place. Facebook is investigating if that any laws were violated in gathering the information. But a privacy expert says, Facebook is the one to blame -- not the researcher. Scotland’s The Herald interviews Simon Davies from the watchdog Privacy International... “Facebook should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent it.”
But what about personal responsibility?, asks TechCrunch. If you don’t want everyone in the world, including the bad guys to see your stuff take the time to set your privacy settings, like, now.
“These kinds of security breaches will only encourage more hackers desperate for attention. Now would be a good time for Facebook to set their default search to “Friends Only.” Why? Because most people aren’t quite aware that check mark next to “Everyone” includes a hacker who can grab your personal info, package it up and sell it to the highest bidder.”
Yeah, says the UK’s Thinq.com. Time to fetch, buy, or just plain get -- a clue: “....perhaps the existence of a stalker's online black book might finally persuade less security-minded Facebook users to get their arses in gear.”
Oh, and by the way, if you want back the privacy Bowes took too late. Even if you change your privacy settings now, it’s still on the download.


No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

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