My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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more hacking of Friendster

If you want to see a beautiful exponential curve, graph the commonality of last names. Some names (::cough:: Smith) are EXCEPTIONALLY common. Jonathan Moore realized this and he used it to extract more data from Friendster. “From this we see that after trying only twenty-eight last names we have a ten percent chanse of having guessed the user’s last name.”

Moore continues on to tell us other ways of extracting purportedly private data from Friendster. Ah, hackers, how i love thee.

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3 comments to more hacking of Friendster

  • Dan

    Presumably you can shorten the odds further by eliminating unlikely first name/last name combinations. e.g. assume that few Alices are going to have the surname Kumar, and few Smiths are going to have the first name Rohit…

  • Elle

    hi. if you notice this, do u mind to hack this friendster account which is belonged to me.
    first name: simply
    last name: beautiful
    well the main reason is i forgot my email address and i wanted to close this account… i registered it 4 days ago.. do send me an email back thank you