O'Reilly leaks geeks' docs

Tuesday, 14 May 2002, 10:04 AM EST

Call it a case of "do what we say, not what we do." Hardcore geek publishing house O'Reilly & Associates recently exposed their database of approximately 100,000 online users to outsiders, courtesy of a Web coding slip-up that their techie customer base might scoff at.

O'Reilly's main Web site, as well as connected sites like Perl.com and XML.com, offer visitors free password-protected accounts for posting comments and subscribing to the publisher's e-mail lists.

Until Monday, clicking on a link for reviewing and changing your user profile would land you at a URL of the form www.oreillynet.com/cs/user/edit/u/66848.

It turns out the number at the end is a sequentially-assigned user I.D., and by simply substituting other numbers one could browse or modify other people's profiles. The profiles include full name and email addresses, and, more rarely, physical mailing address, employer, title and phone number.

[ Read more ]




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