Ron Bowes has been accused of hacking Facebook. But when he put the information for over a 100 million Facebook users into a 2.8 GB torrent stream on his website Skullsecurity.org, he didn't need to hack anything to get it - it was already publicly available on Facebook. All he did, he points out, was "compile public information into a nice format for statistical analysis."
Bowes, who is a developer for the Nmap Security Scanner , had been testing the software's new feature Ncrack, and needed a wordlist generated from real life data. So he turned to Facebook. When he realized how much data was available in the directory and that it might be useful to people to see how much was public, he ended up making it available as a torrent on his website, SkullSecurity.com. The torrent contains the name and URL for every Facebook user whose profile is searchable, as well as the tools Bowes used to generate the lists.
This is yet another reminder to Facebook users that the social network's privacy settings default to the public. It is possible to adjust your privacy settings to a more secure level . To remove yourself from Facebook search, open the privacy settings page and click on "View settings" under the "Basic Directory Information" header. Change "Search for me on Facebook" to "friends" if you only wish to be visible to people on your friends list.