In quasi-dangerous P2P News, Security consultant, Ron Bowes, used software to scan Facebook and gather publicly available information of 100m users. According to BBC News, “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.” Like most files in torrent-land, it has grown legs and is already being shared by thousands of users.
Ron Bowes claims that he preformed this feat to prove a point around web privacy… which he has certainly done with the press gained around this. Since the data is already publicly available on the internet, Facebook does not believe this to be an issue on their side.
This is another example of how personal data (already public in this case) can be published and distributed over P2P Networks like Bitorrent. No… this isn’t a data breach, but it does open the door for hackers to create fake files containing viruses that are mistakenly downloaded by users wanting to see what all the hype is about. Continue to protect yourself and your systems… oh and update those Facebook privacy settings!
Update to Post: Major Corporations are Downloading this Facebook Data
A recent blog entry on Gizmodo has shown that major corporations are downloading the 100m Facebook records referenced in my previous post. They list over 60 organizations with some very interesting names.
I doubt that most of these companies even know that their corporate assets have been used to download this file… or maybe Im wrong and they are deliberately storing the information. Noteworthy either way.