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Details of 100m Facebook users collected and published

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posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:09 PM
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Details of 100m Facebook users collected and published


www.bbc.co.uk

Personal details of 100m Facebook users have been harvested and published on the net by a security consultant.

Ron Bowles used a piece of code to scan Facebook profiles, collecting data not hidden by the user's privacy settings.

The list, which has been shared as a downloadable file, contains the URL of every searchable Facebook user's profile, their name and unique ID.

On the Pirate Bay, the world's biggest file-sharing website, the list was being distributed and downloaded by more than 1,000 users.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:09 PM
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This is interesting.

Facebook say that this info is already in the public domain, but it seems the issue is a bit more 'in-depth' than that.

And some of the comments that 'Facebook' have made about this info is, in itself, a little odd when you read between the lines;

In a statement to BBC News, Facebook said that the information in the list was already freely available online.

"People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want," the statement read.

And this is the point.. with whom and when... not by some research group gathering data as they so please.

and here is the argument against Facebook;

"Facebook should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent it," he said

"It is inconceivable that a firm with hundreds of engineers couldn't have imagined a trawl of this magnitude and there's an argument to be heard that Facebook have acted with negligence, he added.

Mr Davies said that the trawl of data fed into "the confusion of the privacy settings". "This highlights the argument for a higher level of privacy and proves the case for default nondisclosure," he said.

"There are going to be a lot of angry and concerned people right now who be wondering who has their data and what they should do."


And too right too... I am glad I am not on Facebook, or anything similar.. I get quite few friends ending me "reminders" to join up, but I just keep deleting the requests.. no matter how good a friend they, or I, are.

IMO, my privacy is my own and I will choose what to do with it. Facebook has been made into something that 'appears' to be a must-have.. If you're not on it, you're not connected.. It gives this impression, yet this info collected just goes to show how potentially damaging this is to everyones privacy..

i dread to think how much info has been collected by governments and the like.



www.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)

 

mod edit: to change quote tags to ex tags
 

MOD NOTE: Posting work written by others

[edit on Wed Jul 28 2010 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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I'm downloading the data now. I want to know exactly what's contained in there. If it's just a list of names then who cares? But if it's more than that then I guess theres reason to worry. I'll find out soon enough.

I probably should add that I'm no longer on facebook. I "closed" my account over a year ago, but my partner is on there and her account obviously contains information about me, aswell as my two children, so I want to know if she made it into the 100 million and, also what info is contained therein.

[edit on 28-7-2010 by RMFX1]


+7 more 
posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Extralien
 



This will undoubtedly create a huge uprising.

BP Spill = doesn't matter to Americans.
Social Security = doesn't matter to Americans.
Civil liberties = doesn't matter to Americans.
Human rights = doesn't matter to Americans.

Facebook privacy = OMG, President Obama…YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!!!

Nothing is more important than privacy on a totally free service where no one ever lifted a finger to build the site in the first place.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by RMFX1
 


Thank you very much for doing so.

It will be interesting to see what you will find. I sincerely hope you and your partners details are not there.

I wont download it on the principle of helping to keep such info minimised. I know I am just one out of many, but I am one less who does not have, or need, this data.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by Extralien
 


I've got it. It weighs in at over 2 gigs. I'm going to have a quick look at it now before bed. I'll report back.

EDIT: OK, these are the files contained in the packed rar file. They are all .txt files only so no photos or anything like that. Just a list of names it seems:

Filename Description
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
facebook.rb The script used to generate these files (v1)
facebook.nse The script that will be used for the second pass (v2)
facebook-urls The full URLs to every profile
facebook-names-original All names, including duplicates
facebook-names-unique All names, no duplicates
facebook-names-withcount All names, no duplicates but with a count
facebook-firstnames-withcount All first names (with count)
facebook-lastnames-withcount All last names (with count)
facebook-f.last-withcount All first initial last name (with count)
facebook-first.l-withcount All first name last initial (with count)


I've extracted the unique file to have a look at that but it's taking an age to open up for some reason. I'll probably have to check it tomorrow as I'm ready for bed.



EDIT again: The unique file just opened up. It's only a list of names. Nothing more. It seems like a bit of a storm in a teacup. I'll check the file with the URL's tomorrow but I'm guessing that it's nothing more than a list of names with links to their facebook page.

[edit on 28-7-2010 by RMFX1]



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:20 PM
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Its normal, once I harvest these things from Yahoo, it might not as detail as FB. This is normal and FB is innocent, the research company is innocent, these data usually used by research / advertising companies as demographics/geographics based package. A good example of this activity is google analytics.

It is the user fault for revealing what he/she considered as secret to a website.
If its a secret, why tell ?

"People did not understand the privacy settings and this is the result,"
Mr.Davies is right.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:32 PM
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reply to post by RMFX1
 


I too hope its just names! I was going to join a new site today and decided not to as the information required for registration was not information that I wanted to give out. Why do they require street addresses and telephone numbers anyway. And blah blah I know they say they don't give it out but if someone wants it they can get it. A user name and email address should be enough. I belong to Facebook only because my daughter ask me to join because the family gathers there. Too late now to delete my account.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by RMFX1
I'm downloading the data now. I want to know exactly what's contained in there.
Same here.

And it looks like it may be going viral. There were only 934 people (seeders+leechers) when the article came out,

now there are already 3841, 411% as large as the article swarm.
In fact if I've seen a bigger torrent swarm, I don't remember when. It will be interesting to see what information it contains.

Fortunately I never had a Facebook account but I had a shocking experience trying to sign up for Twitter when they asked for.....

MY PRIVATE E_MAIL ACCOUNT PASSWORD!!!! (yes I'm shouting with all caps because I'm shocked)

I finally figured out a way to sign up without giving them that password, but I'll bet some people give it to them.
Twitter may not make it public but we've all seen hackers get into private systems before so why increase your risk by giving out private information?



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:49 PM
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Have any of you heard of this site: BugMeNot


BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times).


Wonder if it does what it says it does?
Thoughts?



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by RMFX1
Just a list of names it seems:

Filename Description
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
facebook-urls The full URLs to every profile
The url is not just a name. In fact there are privacy concerns about urls. Some people have proposed making them online identifiers. You can find out the city someone lives in from their URL, and more like the exact address if you're law enforcement, in the US, thanks to the Patriot act.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
Have any of you heard of this site: BugMeNot


BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times).


Wonder if it does what it says it does?
Thoughts?
Well it only took 5 seconds to try it with facebook. I tried it and got the message:


This site has been barred from the bugmenot system.
So it doesn't work with Facebook.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:56 PM
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ya... seems to be a worthless add-on.



ETA:
I just did a little search on this and apparently FB has blocked (back in '08) even the mention of BMN in the user's status box. Users are getting warnings for the mere mention. Lol. They must hate the idea of users bypassing the personal data requirements. So as not to derail this thread, I'll just add this as another piece of info. to consider... in the long run.

[edit on 28-7-2010 by LadySkadi]



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
ya... seems to be a worthless add-on.
I didn't say it's worthless..it might not be worthless just because it doesn't work on facebook. They claim it works on sites like the NYtimes so if you use that site and occasionally I do, then it might have some value for some sites like that one, but it's definitely useless with some sites.

Even on the NYtimes site, it's probably a violation of their T&C to use bugmenot, so if you do that I wouldn't admit to it on any NYtimes forums.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 06:22 PM
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[edit on 28-7-2010 by LadySkadi]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 01:38 AM
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Great bit of detective work by you lot. Thanks for that. It will help to shed some light on this.

As it stands, there are now 2100 seeders and 3591 leechers.

I love some of the comments being put up.

Due to the type of site the comments are on, I am not sure where I stand on quoting and linking, so I wont.

But the quotes go along the lines of what Arbitrageur mentioned above. If you know how, or have the kit, then this info could be used in a much more sinister way. Some comments are trying to sweep this under the carpet, but there does seem to be a few more 'meaningful' posts.

Some say that nobody would have known about this if the BBC hadn't said anything, yet IMO, I'm glad they did otherwise people may have been getting attacks from all angles and nobody would have known from which direction.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 01:54 AM
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Downloading. I am honestly interested to see what they've got on me.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:03 AM
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Woo hoo a hundred thousand pictures of preteen girls touching their brastraps in front of a mirror. What a travesty...

facebook sucks



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:03 AM
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my bad folks, jumpy on the tirgger

[edit on 29-7-2010 by SPACEYstranger]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:33 AM
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Not new news. For example, I was reading this paper a few weeks ago (news article):

We used the social network data set studied in [6] for experiments. This data set contains 778M edges and describes personal relationships and group memberships crawled from Facebook, Orkut, Flickr, and LiveJournal.

A correlated association graph has more information than a collection of profile URLs.




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