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100 Million Facebook Pages Leaked On Torrent Site 163

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-many-pokes dept.
Stoobalou writes "A directory containing personal details about more than 100 million Facebook users has surfaced on an Internet file-sharing site. The 2.8GB torrent was compiled by hacker Ron Bowes of Skull Security, who created a web crawler program that harvested data on users contained in Facebook's open access directory, which lists all users who haven't bothered to change their privacy settings to make their pages unavailable to search engines."
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100 Million Facebook Pages Leaked On Torrent Site

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  • Well (Score:2, Funny)

    by Spazztastic (814296)

    My only question is: Does it include pictures? That may be a deal breaker...

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gi0 (773404) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:12AM (#33055960) Homepage
      No. This torrent contains: * The URL of every searchable Facebook user's profile * The name of every searchable Facebook user, both unique and by count (perfect for post-processing, datamining, etc) * Processed lists, including first names with count, last names with count, potential usernames with count, etc * The programs I used to generate everything
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jedi Alec (258881)

      It's 2.8 gigs as it is, imagine how big it would get if 100 million pics were added to it ;-)

      • by ultranova (717540)

        It's 2.8 gigs as it is, imagine how big it would get if 100 million pics were added to it ;-)

        100 million pictures * 100,000 bytes per picture = around 10 terabytes. Not feasible yet, but soon will be.

        • by treeves (963993)
          Yeah, people will attach it in emails and forward it to a dozen people, saying something like "I normally don't forward these kind of things, but I thought you should see this...."
    • No, It's Just a List (Score:5, Informative)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:16AM (#33056010) Journal
      If you go to the originator [skullsecurity.org], here's all it contains:

      This torrent contains:

      * The URL of every searchable Facebook user's profile
      * The name of every searchable Facebook user, both unique and by count (perfect for post-processing, datamining, etc)
      * Processed lists, including first names with count, last names with count, potential usernames with count, etc
      * The programs I used to generate everything

      You're going to get a URL to pages. If the user has since made them inaccessible, you'll only get what you can from their public profile. Like, you cannot get to my friends list from my public profile. You'll get "potential" usernames to log into Facebook. Big deal. Remember when everyone could make a username for Facebook and that was also their profile URL? Well, now you can guess the most common names and add them to this list like david [facebook.com]. Then you could use ncrack or whatever.

      Not a whole lot in this file. Not like he scraped the pages of data and put that in a csv file for research or anything really interesting.

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        No good for attacking any individual user, plenty useful for anyone looking to streamline their search for soft targets for social engineering attacks.

      • by Spad (470073)

        Not like he *published* anything really interesting.

      • Just a spam List (Score:3, Informative)

        by Alien1024 (1742918)

        Indeed, just a spam list but with facebook names instead of email addresses.

        Shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody, really. The moment you create a searchable profile, you know that is bound to happen.

      • While yes you can set up your profile or page with a URL so it can be accessed at e.g. facebook.com/joe.bloggs Logins are done using email addresses, which have never been displayed publicly by default.

  • and get more information from those people. You stay classy slashdot.

    • by causality (777677) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:34AM (#33056258)

      and get more information from those people. You stay classy slashdot.

      Rest assured that the blackhats who want this information already know about it. As another user suggested, one potential abuse of this information would be to choose targets for social engineering attacks. But those who would exploit it did not just now hear about it. If anything it's the public that is often left behind.

      If you don't want to see that reality then we cannot have a conversation about this. If you can see that reality, then I have one question for you: how do you propose we solve the bigger problem of raising awareness of the dangers and misuses of such databases without some publicity? The users who least understand how these things can be abused are generally the ones who are most actively making their personal information publically available. Everyone else either doesn't share the need for personal exhibition, uses false data, or takes a deliberate and calculated risk with any real data made available.

      While I think it's an empty vanity personally, I'm not against someone making a public exhibit of themselves if that's what they wish to do. What I would like to see, however, is for those people to do this with a full awareness of how it could be used against them. The deck is somewhat stacked against them because the black hats thoroughly study how to misuse information, whereas the average user just wants to communicate with friends. That can change, and it really should.

      • by Mark Hood (1630) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:47AM (#33056418) Homepage

        and get more information from those people. You stay classy slashdot.

        Rest assured that the blackhats who want this information already know about it.

        I agree - and while it's good that more people know about this so they can protect themselves, it wasn't the case that every black hat knew about this already - there'll be a load of script kiddies giving it a go now, so the chances of getting hacked went up.

        That said, the people who had a genuine malicious intent were more than likely doing this behind the scenes, while the 'kiddies' tend to go for vandalism and defacement. I'd rather that if I got hacked, it just said 'ask me about teh spam' on my wall, than it silently installed a data-tracking app or something...

        But really, what's the issue here? That someone went to the trouble of scraping every public name and profile off the site, or that it wasn't Google?

        Mark

        PS Why doesn't Chrome recognise Google as a properly spelled word?

      • by ikarous (1230832)

        While I think it's an empty vanity personally, I'm not against someone making a public exhibit of themselves if that's what they wish to do. What I would like to see, however, is for those people to do this with a full awareness of how it could be used against them. The deck is somewhat stacked against them because the black hats thoroughly study how to misuse information, whereas the average user just wants to communicate with friends. That can change, and it really should.

        I agree that people need to be more concerned about privacy, but I don't think believe that the situation is without hope. My admittedly anecdotal experience leaves me with the impression that people are slowly becoming aware of the potential consequences of freely sharing information on public social networking sites. The easiest way to raise awareness with individual people, I've found, is to simply point to one of the plentiful news stories detailing a case where some individual was passed over for a job

    • by causality (777677) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:46AM (#33056396)

      and get more information from those people. You stay classy slashdot.

      I'm not crazy about making a second reply to this one post but I wanted this to be said.

      I have some disagreement with this being modded -1 Flamebait. I don't think his intention was to start a flamewar, though I admit that's possible and an AC has already responded that way. Still, this is a genuinely held sentiment. A lot of people really do feel this way. It's as though they think that not talking about this problem and not making such information available will make it go away. That amounts to burying one's head in the sand.

      I'd rather call it out and explain why this is false and shortsighted than bury the comment under negative moderations. Making the comment disappear for all users who are not browsing at -1 will surely reduce the audience of that one comment. What it won't do is persuade others who mistakenly feel the same way. So I don't think this is Flamebait. I think this is a false perception that can be corrected with a true perception.

  • FTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EricWright (16803) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:12AM (#33055950) Journal

    perhaps the existence of a stalker's online black book might finally persuade less security-minded Facebook users to get their arses in gear.

    More likely it will precipitate a lawsuit. Why fix the problem when you can sue the pants off someone instead?

    • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:16AM (#33056016) Journal

      More likely it will precipitate a lawsuit. Why fix the problem when you can sue the pants off someone instead?

      Sue for what? Violating Facebook's ToS?

      I'm surprised TFA didn't link to the guy's blog. He has a good writeup there
      http://www.skullsecurity.org/blog/?p=887 [skullsecurity.org]

      The Torrent: http://www.skullsecurity.org/blogdata/fbdata.torrent [skullsecurity.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anachragnome (1008495)

        "I'm surprised TFA didn't link to the guy's blog. He has a good writeup there
        http://www.skullsecurity.org/blog/?p=887 [skullsecurity.org] [skullsecurity.org]"

        That is because Stoobalou wanted you to go to think.co.uk to read the story, spend 30-60 seconds looking for a link to the original source(viewing ads the whole time, he hopes)...kind of like EVERY other story he has posted.

        I agree. He could at least provide the link somewhere. What a tease.

    • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:31AM (#33056220)

      In this case I think it is a more of a matter of 'yeah so?'. I put my information on that website *SO* I could be found. Everyone else who links to me is doing the *EXACT SAME THING*. The whole point of this site as sold is to link you to your friends and family. Thats it. How do you find people? Oh yeah you search for them.

      The usual internet problems exist. Do not put up there what you do not want other to know.

      I am sure there are dozens of ways to abuse the information that is up there. But guess what *YOU HAVE DECIDED* to put it up there...

      That you expect some sort of privacy from an application that by its nature is about being open and sharing whatever stupid thing you are doing is backwards.

      If you do not want to be found facebook is not the place to be. It shares everything no matter what your 'settings' are. You have by its nature shared with at least 2 parties. Your friends and facebook. If you want to keep a secret you do not tell people who are known to tell others.

      • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:31AM (#33056920)

        The usual internet problems exist. Do not put up there what you do not want other to know.

        I am sure there are dozens of ways to abuse the information that is up there. But guess what *YOU HAVE DECIDED* to put it up there...

        The problem is that's not true. It is becoming increasingly easy to correlate all the information others have incidentally posted about you, and put together a pretty good picture of you, even if you personally have posted nothing at all.

        I have no facebook account. Yet yesterday I got an email facebook invite from somebody I've never heard of, and it said "here are 9 other friends of this person you may know." I *do* know 7 of the 9, through different business dealings that have nothing to do with each other. They're sure not people who "friended" me, since we don't have that kind of relationship. It's creepy.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Bing Tsher E (943915)

          At a certain point the government will discover they have a 'compelling interest' to confiscate and retain the entire Facebook database. At that point, we're all fucked.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by joss (1346)

            Right, that's what we should be afraid of because the government is much more likely to try and screw us than Mark Zuckerberg who would never try to screw anybody. Or consider selling the info to anybody who would screw us. In other breaking news, unexpected rain could mean the Titanic is danger of getting wet.

      • by ukyoCE (106879)

        In this case I think it is a more of a matter of 'yeah so?'. I put my information on that website *SO* I could be found.

        YOU may have. The issue here is that Facebook keeps defaulting more and more info to public. Many of these users may have no clue their information is currently public, nor how much of it is public.

        At best it's a usability issue, where Facebook isn't making it clear to users what is private and what is public. At worse (and more likely) it's intentional obfuscation on Facebooks part to try to make money.

        You have by its nature shared with at least 2 parties. Your friends and facebook.

        If you talk on your cell phone you have by nature shared it with at least 2 parties. The other caller

        • At best it's a usability issue, where Facebook isn't making it clear to users what is private and what is public.

          Have you gone through the new user flow recently? The amount of messaging saying "YOUR STATUS UPDATE IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY PUBLIC, HERE IS HOW YOU CHANGE IT!!" is insane in my opinion. If someone writes a public update after that accidentally, they have bigger problems...

          At worse (and more likely) it's intentional obfuscation on Facebooks part to try to make money.

          How does that help Facebook make more money? Ads are targeted based upon demographics and interests without sharing information to advertisers (explanation of how it works) [facebook.com] -- how does someone sharing publicly vs. privately help this?

      • Well, whoever is interested might be able to reply to some invites (in the negative, I hope) that I have received or respond to some of the causes they seem to think I'm interested in, or join the Mafia or some other game they think I have time to mess with.

        I do like the fact that I can be found, but the rest of FB is a barrage that constantly reminds me of excess baggage. I would like to organize it somehow but that is daunting and might take up too much time as well. Time that could be better spent on, er

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pinkushun (1467193)

      Well if Facebook's TOS includes them housing your profile data, does compiling publicly visible information into a torrent, shared and owned by everyone, breach their TOS?

      Do Facebook even have any claims to that data, if it is publicly visible in the first place?

  • Leaked? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ikarous (1230832) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:13AM (#33055972)
    Misleading headline is misleading. These public profiles haven't been leaked. They've simply been aggregated.
  • Obvious next step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:14AM (#33055984) Homepage

    Download the file and make sure I'm not in there. Onward and upward.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Same here; I killed my Facebook account 3 years ago, but who knows how long these guys have been aggregating their data, or who else might have been posting information about me.
  • Security Research (Score:1, Insightful)

    by chebucto (992517)

    I'll bet there are about 100 million people who would like to test the security of Ron Bowes' nuts against a swift kick. I mean, he should be aware of the Extreme Pain vulnerability by now, and he should have taken the most basic security precautions by now, like wearing a cup. If not, well, he deserves what he gets, right?

    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:25AM (#33056146)

      I doubt there is a significant overlap between the people who follow computer security and online privacy issues and the people who still leave their Facebook profiles open for search indexing. I would venture a guess that most of the people harvested will never know, or care. I mean, after all, it doesn't even really sound like this guy did anything more than Google already did anyway.

      • I doubt there is a significant overlap between the people who follow computer security and online privacy issues and the people who still leave their Facebook profiles open for search indexing.

        ...which is exactly why those people are less likely to see the "raising awareness" angle and more likely to see the "why the hell do you have my daughter's name on a list?" angle.

        I would venture a guess that most of the people harvested will never know, or care.

        Give it a month, then check snopes.

      • I doubt there is a significant overlap between the people who follow computer security and online privacy issues and the people who still leave their Facebook profiles open for search indexing.

        I would assume the opposite is true. People who actually understand computer security and online privacy issues would be more likely to realize that Facebook's "privacy settings" do not actually protect anything. Those people will only post content to Facebook that they intend to publish to the entire world and leave

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:39AM (#33056320) Journal

      I'll bet there are about 100 million people who would like to test the security of Ron Bowes' nuts against a swift kick. I mean, he should be aware of the Extreme Pain vulnerability by now, and he should have taken the most basic security precautions by now, like wearing a cup. If not, well, he deserves what he gets, right?

      +5 Insightful? Why is it that we regard Tavis Ormandy as someone trying to expose the insecurity of Microsoft when he releases a how-to exploit Windows hack [slashdot.org] but when a security researcher attempts to reveal how insecure Facebook's "Directory" service can be we attack him as the creator of that service and not Facebook?

      I believe your anger would be better directed at Facebook. After all, this is posted in his blog for the world to see while a malware author could have just taken this list and run ncrack on it without anyone knowing.

      I would also like to point out that, as mentioned many times in this thread, this is just a list. Not even real names but just usernames of people on Facebook. That means that if you find your username on this list, you can restrict your settings so that no one can see your public profile. Then if someone uses this URL list to look you up they get nothing.

      So a security researcher tries to wake up Facebook users and he's the guy you want to kick in the nuts? Very curious.

      • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:42AM (#33056354) Homepage

        > I believe your anger would be better directed at Facebook.

        Why is there any need for anger at all? These users made their pages public. This guy created a list of public Facebook pages. So what?

        • > Why is there any need for anger at all? These users made their pages public. This guy created a list of public Facebook pages. So what?

          Technically, these users failed to hide their profiles, or to lock the privacy settings back down after Facebook opened them all back up earlier in the year. In fact, even if they did lock their privacy settings back down after facebook opened them all up the last time, the script might have just scrapped the information in the time inbetween.

          You make it sound like the

          • The users consciously joined facebook, consciously entered data into a service, probably didn't read the terms of that service (which is clearly the service's fault, not lazy users who skip every ToS and EULA as fast as humanly possible), probably don't monitor for changes to those terms (there is even an opt-in method defined in those terms to be auto-notified of all changes), and of course they feel after all this that they are the victims. Bullshit.

            Breaking news! Facebook works as designed, public infor
          • You make it sound like the users made a conscious, informed decision to allow everyone to see everything when that is far from the only possible explaination.

            I just created a dummy Facebook account (I've never bothered with it before). Anyone who is mentally capable of operating a computer and claims that they did not understand what would be public under the default settings is lying. It is extremely obvious from the start that what you are doing is creating a personal, public Web page with the option

        • For the most part, I agree, this is all information you can get with Google.

          However, Facebook's privacy settings are change often and can be confusing. The blame really should go to Facebook at least for that.

      • "So a [...] researcher tries to wake up [...] users and he's the guy you want to kick in the nuts? Very curious."

        Welcome to Earth.

        On a more serious note, in the final of MASH, a woman kills her baby (infant) because it made noise and the respective group of people wanted to be silent (soldiers outside the bus wanting them dead). Don't expect anger/fear to be rational; once you set off some feelings, a lot of people can't tell the difference between "our survival depends on hiding our weakness now and this g

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:41AM (#33056346) Homepage

      I'll bet there are about 100 million people who would like to test the security of Ron Bowes' nuts against a swift kick.

      Purely playing Devil's advocate here ....

      So, Facebook made this stuff public by default. The individual users didn't change their settings to make it private (either they didn't know, or didn't care). This guy collects all of the information which is open to him, and publishes it.

      I'm not saying I agree with scraping all of this information, but I place much more of the blame on Facebook for their shitty privacy policies and making a change to the data which made it public by default.

      This is a logical conclusion of having that much information public by default. It's scary to get that information on 170 million people, but, as TFA points out, this is hardly illegal.

      I'm sure Facebook will say this is a good thing, and that those users wanted that information made available since that seems to be their default position on security and privacy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jeffmeden (135043)

        I'm sure Facebook will say this is a good thing, and that those users wanted that information made available since that seems to be their default position on security and privacy.

        Mark Zuckerberg actually said exactly that in a recent interview (with NPR, google it) when confronted with the question of "why not just make the default 'private'?" he quipped "We think users want to be seen". He is probably right, but there are way more people out there who are clueless about their privacy and mistakenly disclose tons of information than those who are well informed and intentionally disclose tons of information. Assuming the whole world is made up of perfectly informed adults who conse

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          "We think users want to be seen". He is probably right, but there are way more people out there who are clueless about their privacy and mistakenly disclose tons of information than those who are well informed and intentionally disclose tons of information.

          Oh, I think it entirely unlikely that 100 million people chose to disclose that much information.

          I blame Facebook constantly changing things, and user apathy/lack of understanding in this case.

          This is just one more example of why I don't use Facebook. Bu

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by John Hasler (414242)

            Oh, I think it entirely unlikely that 100 million people chose to disclose that much information.

            I have no difficulty at all believing that 100 million people chose to disclose that much information. (the information being a link to their public Facebook profile). Why do you imagine that everyone wants to be secretive?

            • by gstoddart (321705)

              Why do you imagine that everyone wants to be secretive?

              Date of birth? Address? Phone number?

              Some of that stuff gets up into the easy identity theft range.

              It is possible that some people specifically wanted to give this information away, but it seems to fall more into the category of not being an informed decision.

  • Okay, so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Revotron (1115029) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:18AM (#33056048)

    This guy wrote a script to crawl Facebook and download everything he could. So? Nothing is revealed here that we couldn't find manually ourselves by just looking at a person of interest's profile.

    This story is about a glorified crawler. No actual hacking transpired. No personal information that wasn't already revealed has been revealed. This is not news. In fact, I had to go back to TFS and double-check that kdawson wasn't the editor - that's how terrible this story really is.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The point is you don't have to hack anything, facebook just defaults to posting stuff that a hacker might otherwise have to hack in to get.

      For example, did you know that when you add a new email to facebook, it defaults to showing that email?

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      This guy wrote a script to crawl Facebook and download everything he could. So? Nothing is revealed here that we couldn't find manually ourselves by just looking at a person of interest's profile.

      This story is about a glorified crawler. No actual hacking transpired. No personal information that wasn't already revealed has been revealed.

      One piece of information is an anecdote.
      170 million pieces of information are data.

      Until this data dump, the only people doing data mining were Facebook & their partners.
      Now anyone can.

      If you don't see the value in this aggregation of information, you're not looking very hard.

      • Re:Okay, so... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:39AM (#33056324) Homepage

        > Until this data dump, the only people doing data mining were Facebook &
        > their partners.

        Do you seriously believe that no one has ever written such a script before?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      This guy wrote a script to crawl Facebook and download everything he could.

      It's not even about that, it's about a guy who wrote a script to collect usernames of everyone on facebook which double as the URL for their profiles. From there you can go and scrape everything you want. You don't even get their public information that they can chose to display on the front page like religion or real name. That's not even on there. No images, just URLs which double as logins.

      This story is about a glorified crawler. No actual hacking transpired. No personal information that wasn't already revealed has been revealed. This is not news. In fact, I had to go back to TFS and double-check that kdawson wasn't the editor - that's how terrible this story really is.

      It's worse than that. It's about a glorified crawler that was augmented with common names to create a list of p [slashdot.org]

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      This story is about a glorified crawler. No actual hacking transpired. No personal information that wasn't already revealed has been revealed. This is not news.

      To quote one of the genius minds of our era, 'no shit, Sherlock'. The cases of 'actual hacking' that transpire on a regular basis can be counted on one hand. Nearly all the major 'hackers' have in their hit lists mundane crap exactly like this. Do you think dumpster diving, social engineering, and using lists of common passwords are somehow any more romantic than scraping public pages?

      Grow up. Security is about a lot more than terminals in a green font.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jgrahn (181062)

      This story is about a glorified crawler. No actual hacking transpired.

      You're probably thinking of cracking. Hacking, in the sense "creative programming", may have been part of it.

  • Where's the Pr0n? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:20AM (#33056068) Journal

    Would someone create a list that only contains public profiles with NSFW images?

    Thanx

  • After my initial outrage spike, I realized that the only reason this guy ended up with this information is because these people INTENTIONALLY POSTED it.

    See if anyone you know is on this list and educate them.

  • Considering that this information was already in the hands of a company whose CEO doesn't give two shits about privacy anyway I say no harm done.

    • Considering that these pages HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE PUBLIC BY THE USERS anyway I say no harm done.

  • BFD... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://youropenbook.org/

  • Sensational...ism (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobM9999 (191476) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:34AM (#33056250)

    Sensationalism - A manner of over-hyping events, being deliberately controversial, loud, self centred or acting to obtain attention. It is also a form of theatre.

    Yep, that's pretty much it.

    Just because he found the super-secret directory, http://www.facebook.com/directory/ [facebook.com] and wrote a program that would read it. Of all the evil, nefarious things to do.

    • by Solandri (704621)
      Not only that, 2.8 GB / 100 million users = 30 bytes per user. The vast majority of those "100 million users" probably had nothing on their Facebook pages and were dummy or deleted accounts.
  • News flash: 400 million user profile pages can be found online at facebook.com.
  • Most of the other post talk about how this is not a big deal and in the grand scheme of things it’s not but what he is doing is showing the world how venerable your information is on the web and FB. There are tons of people that really just don’t understand what it means when you post things like your address, email address, phone number, and full name for the world to see. Take this mix it with your likes and updates of your daily activities and you have a damn good profile for someone to stea

  • Hopefully.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:47AM (#33056424) Journal
    I hope that this will serve as a viable reply to the persistent "but you have no expectations of privacy in public in the real world, why worry online?" crowd.

    The real world is(relatively) harmless because(outside of East Germany, and the UK) persistent, comprehensive surveillance is extremely expensive and/or time consuming. Only people with stalkers, secret agents, or private investigators on their tail need worry.

    On the internet, which masterfully makes data collection and mining much easier, comprehensive surveillance, and making something of the results, is relatively trivial. Hence the concern.
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      (outside of East Germany, and the UK) persistent, comprehensive surveillance

      Neither of these countries have any more comprehensive, persistent surveillance. Well, the former East Germany did, but it hasn't existed for 18 years. The whole "27 million CCTV cameras in the UK" was from an entirely fictitious article in one of the more rabid right-wing tabloid papers.

      • I was (mostly) joking. The licence plate tracking system they have for enforcing congestion charges in London(among other uses) is pretty spiffy...
        • by Gordonjcp (186804)

          Most large cities have ANPR, and it's pretty effective in solving car thefts. Mostly it can tell the police which approximate area to look for the burnt-out wreck in, and local knowledge of the hiding spots will take them right to it ;-)

          The interesting thing is, it *doesn't* track all cars - only the ones they're specifically interested in. You can't tell where a car *was*, only where it went after you set it up on the tracking list. Now, I'd say that makes it *less* of a privacy violation than real live

  • How is this a leak? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:56AM (#33056530) Journal

    How is it a leak if all of these pages are available publicly anyway?

    • It's not. But this guy can get a lot of attention by claiming that he "exposed some new privacy threat". Privacy settings are all the rage right now and you can get a lot of attention with almost no work if you play your cards right.

      Making a script to go search google and pull public profiles then calling it "OMG PRIVACY ISSUES!!" is one such example.
  • by xmousex (661995) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:03AM (#33056606) Journal

    A leak is something that happens when previously hidden information is then made publicly available by someone on the inside.

    The information here is available to anyone that wants it, someone just spent some time compiling the data, who had no affiliation with facebook.

  • FTFA:

    ...but perhaps the existence of a stalker's online black book might finally persuade less security-minded Facebook users to get their arses in gear.

    A fine sentiment, but you must be new here. As in planet earth. Born yesterday.

    Cue "I wanna be famous [youtube.com]." or even the alternate: NSFW [youtube.com] song (first time I saw that one!).

    Think of it this way, Facebook might keep a John Hinkley from ever happening again. Naw, I'd have to have been born yesterday to believe that. ^_^

    --
    Toro

    LOL oF Kill somebody important oF

  • What about: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:11AM (#33056704) Homepage
    What about those of us who CHOOSE to make their profile completely public and full of information about themselves?
  • the news here perhaps isthat the marketing script-kiddies now have the data in a form they can go to spam-town with. Not really a leak, but an accessible-format conversion. I look forward to the statistics being crunched in amusing ways... % of "female" people who have the words "sex" and "city" and "2" and "terrible" in their data...98%
  • The new Phone Book is here the new Phone Book is here and my name is on it, so I am somebody now! [youtube.com] Er ah Facebook Whitepages I guess? Oh yeah the words are backwards because it is a parallel universe that developed English a bit differently than ours did.

    Anyway right now some Sniper is looking in the Facebook Phone Book and finds "Blastar, Orion" and then decides to look me up and get his rifle and start shooting at me. :) LOL

  • Yet another blown out of proportion Slashdot headline which panders to the crazies.

    Nothing to see here, please move along.

    PS: I would be first to condemn Facebook. I don't like their management and lack of customer focus. But this headline is probably the reason I'll delete my Slashdot account just like I've deleted my Facebook account.

  • Now, if someone could complete the work of compiling a list of all the other boring and useless URLs into one spot, then we can use it as a blacklist of URLs not to visit.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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