Archive for July, 2010

Details of 100,000,000 Facebook users aggregated for download…

July 28, 2010 3 comments

This week BBC news posted an interesting story:

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.

Time to panic maybe? Well, not perhaps if you keep reading:

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.

Not perhaps so bad then, given the name and URL of every FaceBook user is already available within FaceBook itself – I mean if you are searching for someone, you could go to the FaceBook page, type their name in, then see a list of people with pictures etc, or, you could use this offline data set and just get their URL’s and IDs.

I guess it’s useful if you want to translate a FaceBook id into a name, but for me, this is a bit of a blown-out-of-proportion non-event.

maybe I am missing something?

Categories: PII Tags: , ,

100,000 Israelis data hacked by Turks via Pizza Hut…

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Lucian Constantin reported this week that the personal information, including paypal and credit card details of around 100,000 Israelis was obtained by Turkish hackers from a number of compromised websites. This came to light when the information of over 32,000 Israeli internet workers, including government employees appeared in a spreadsheet on a hacking forum.

Later on, the details of another 70,000 were found in a file hacked from Pizza Hut.

Apparently according to Lucian, many people consider that theft of money from “infidels” is acceptable according to the Quran.

Mexico Passes data-leak prevention law…

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Effective as of July 6th 2010, the new la Ley Federal de Protección de Datos Personales en posesión de los particulares, or “Federal Law for Protection of Personal Data held by Private Persons” enforces obligations of disclosure, and has penalties and fines. Companies must act on requests for information about personal data held, and can deny transfer of data and request deletion.

A great writeup by Roumiana Deltcheva can be found on, and you can get the full text of the law from the Senado site (though in Spanish of course).

“The Influence Project”…

I came across this interesting project which hopes to measure the level of “influence” people have online – Basically you register, then you try to get as many people as possible to register as well.

Yes, Steven Cobert’s going to win it for sure 😉

Still, if you want to partake, you could do worse than boost me up the ladder if you find my posts an speaking influential in a positive or negative way – 🙂

Speaking at HITRUST in Ashburn, VA – 20th July…

For those in the Washington DC area, or those interested in information security and healthcare, I will be speaking alongside Kevin DePeugh (Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente) at the HITRUST conference in Ashburn on the 20th July. You can find out more about the HITRUST initiative from their website,