Many users have criticized a recent redesign Facebook Inc. made to its social networking site, but the company may have pleased hackers by making personal information easier to dig up.
Timeline, a Facebook feature added last week, provides a summary of important recent events in a person's life. This tool "makes it a heck of a lot easier [for attackers] to collect information on people," Chet Wisniewski, a security researcher at the U.K. company Sophos, told Computerworld for a Sept. 23 article.
Without the timeline feature, this data is "not in an easy-to-use format," he added.
This personal data can be used to create targeted phishing attacks or to answer the challenge questions that banks and other companies use for security online, the article said.
Users can use Facebook's privacy settings to restrict the visibility of their Timeline entries, but most people won't, the researcher said. "For 99% of people, the danger doesn't even cross their mind," he told Computerworld.