100 million Facebook accounts exposed

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.   

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Safari 5.0.1 released, now supports extensions

Next Story

Froyo for HTC Desire imminent

37 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

They really just need to leave Facebook alone and move on with there lives. STOP trying to hack it and try to hack a lamer web site called Myspace. In the long run, Facebook wins. Period

I am asked by work colleagues and friends why I don't have a Facebook account...? And this is one of the reasons.

Jonessie said,
I am asked by work colleagues and friends why I don't have a Facebook account...? And this is one of the reasons.

How so?

Jonessie said,
I am asked by work colleagues and friends why I don't have a Facebook account...? And this is one of the reasons.

Bothered to read the article maybe? Nothing was actually hacked or exposed or leaked. Someone simply went through the facebook directory, gathered all data that users didn't set to private and put into a database. The article title is... for lack of a better word... fail.

DATmafia said,
People still use facebook? Why?
Here's a crazy idea: It does what people want. I use it to keep in contact with friends, keep track of events etc. but I keep very little personal information available to the public. It's the equivalent of having a mobile years ago; if you didn't have one then you couldn't keep in contact as easily as those that did have one.

Just because a lot of people use Facebook, it doesn't automatically lump them in to the group "sheeple." People that use that word just end up coming off pretentious. A majority of people use beds, does that make them sheeple? Perhaps it just makes them normal...

If you are inside now downloading this, you really need to get out more. And agree with Randolph, how is this a hack?? Attention grabbing headline.

Urgh, please change the title, its so miss-leading! Might as well say "Shock: BT send out phone books with everyones number, name and address"

The only info on that list is stuff that people are willing to share with everyone. If people are stupid enough to have their contact details set to everyone, thats there own fault and they'll soon learn to be more careful

Chemaz said,
Urgh, please change the title, its so miss-leading! Might as well say "Shock: BT send out phone books with everyones number, name and address"

The only info on that list is stuff that people are willing to share with everyone. If people are stupid enough to have their contact details set to everyone, thats there own fault and they'll soon learn to be more careful

+1
Who approved this title? I know Facebook leaks private info like oil but this was very misleading.

If you're too dumb to secure your Facebook page, I have 0 sympathy for you being "hacked". Grievous pebkac is grievous.

The word "exposed" is badly used in this article.
Information publicly available is not exposed. It was collected or made into a database which could be a potential spam of ID theft problem.

People need to keep up with Facebook settings (and change them accordingly) if they don't want to be "exposed"...

3lixir said,
utter nonsense, there is a limit to how much a social network can pander to stupidity

The stupidity is this article about a non-event.

Hmm yep this is just people that haven't changed their privacy settings?

Facebook is insecure however, I can see the wall of several people not in my friendlist just by typing 4 letters. It used to only work on my mobile phone browser, now it only works in safari but it still works. And this isnt non-friends who list their wall as visible to friends of friends as their wall does not show up if you click their name. i type 4 letters and it comes up. not good!

So, a "hacker" collected information that was publicly available to everybody on the internet, and stored this information in a database which he then "leaked" to the web. My god, he's just like Google!

feelgood13 said,
Good thing I recently delisted my favorite food from fb. Who knows what could happen with this info if it got out...

HAHAHA

Is there a list somewhere where we can check? Pretty lame, but also not surprising. I could care less because I knew that info was public already.