Facebook has taken a lot of heat recently over its security settings and implementation. With the wealth of information some people expose on their profiles for would be identity thieves, it’s a gold mine of information. So when 100 million Facebook pages leak to the web, it’s a security concern.
The file, which weighs in at 2.8GB, was compiled by a hacker from Skull Security and, according to thinq.co.uk, used a program to harvest data from Facebook’s open access directory. This directory lists users who have either forgotten or neglected to change their privacy settings to remove them from search engines.
The total file contains over 1/5th of all the users on Facebook which just recently hit 500 million members. But to call this a hack is somewhat misleading as the it’s actually data harvesting from users who didn’t change their security settings.
This default open access has become a hot topic, raising questions about Facebook's need to change its practices to set the default settings to private. But, as Facebook needs this data to feed to marketers to make money, it’s a tough call between user privacy and the company’s bottom line.
It should be noted that what Skull Security has done is not illegal. They have simply gathered public data and compiled it into a torrent file.