Saturday, August 16, 2008

567,000 Private Photos From MySpace Hacked

Now I tell you this, I am no expert on MySpace. I don’t have a MySpace page. I don’t plan on getting a MySpace page. But you may have a MySpace page or your kids may have a MySpace page. And if you do, this story may have caught your attention. Not too long ago, 567,000 photos that were marked private on MySpace were accessed, copied, and now are available on a 17 gig torrent.

One of the things MySpace does to protect minors against pedophiles is to mark photos posted on their MySpace page private so only “friends” they have can access these photos. Adults who have MySpace pages also can mark photos either public or private. If they are marked private, it works the same way. Only people they have designated certain “friends” are able to access these private photos. Due to a vulnerability in the MySpace private photos, some 567,000 were extracted from the MySpace files. Now one might wonder how could MySpace not see hundreds of thousands of requests from one IP address isn’t seen. A 17 gig file is huge not to see.

Oh well. Supposedly this has been fixed. But the lesson should be this. If you ever post pictures that are supposedly private on the Internet, someday, someway, their may be a possible software vulnerability that allows someone to steal these pictures and they will live forever as a file that can be accessed. This is something I try and suggest. Never post anything that you wouldn’t mind being seen by everyone. I haven’t read any details, but I’m sure there are some nude pictures that have been posted and were assumed protected by being marked private. Well not so.

This is a good example of creating your own “need to know policy” where you don’t disclose anything about yourself online. Crooks are always looking for ways to steal information about you. If you have kids and they are on MySpace, you may want to warn them that if they had pictures marked private, there are thousands and thousands now that are public record. Some may be embarrassing, so warn them of the dangers of posting things on the Internet and don’t let people know too much about you. Protect your privacy by not disclosing anything without thoughtful consideration.

Take care and stay safe.

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