Has Your Personal Data Been Leaked on The Internet?

The latest gadget on everyone’s most wanted list is the iPad. They are cool and less bulky than a laptop but more simple to use than a netbook, plus they have the ability to use all the applications in the iTunes store. They can be used for work or play and could be used as a phone too.

Apple computers are notorious for being the most secure as they do not suffer from virus attacks as machines using a Window’s operating system can do. Apple machines are often chosen by security conscious computer users who believe they will be safe from many internet viruses.

However a group of iPad owners have been the victim of an internet security scam which resulted in 114,000 email addresses on the AT&T mobile network being revealed without their permission. Two American citizens have been charged with “conspiracy to access a computer without authorisation and general fraud” by exploiting a security loophole which resulted in the leak.

The email addresses and SIM card numbers for a range of celebrities and government workers were leaked in June last year to the press by a group of hackers who go by the name of Goatse Security. They run a website which reveals internet security threats.

Goatse Security insists the leak was not meant to cause harm to email owners but to highlight the security flaws in AT&T’s security system. Apparently they were hoping to prevent future security breaches which could have led to something more serious.

It has been claimed the two men, Andrew Auernheimer and Daniel Spitler, who were responsible for the leak did so in order to damage the reputation of AT&T.

This leak of email addresses is not an isolated incident and on the Goatse Security website it mentions the leak of a 2.8GB file containing personal data of 100 million Facebook users. The data was collected by hacker Ron Bowes from Skull Security who built a web crawler which collected the data found on Facebook’s open access directory.

The Facebook open access directory contains data from anyone who has not updated their privacy settings to make their page invisible to search engines. The file created by Bowes contains account names and profile URLs. The profile URLs can then be accessed to harvest such information as addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers. The other dangerous thing the list does is if you visit a Facebook users profile by clicking the URL from the file you can click through to their friends profiles even if they have made their profile non-searchable.

The difference in the two leaks between that of iPad owners and Facebook users is that Bowes has not broken the law as the Facebook information is publicly available. If you are a Facebook user you should be very careful as to what information you post online. For example if you have your address on your profile and then you tell all your friends you are going on holiday someone might just pay your home a visit whilst you are away and clear you out!

More Info:Keep up to date with the latest internet security news to be aware of the latest security threats. Check out http://www.antivirus-buyability.co.uk


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