Home > Privacy > Alleged Hacker Caught Using Image GPS data

Alleged Hacker Caught Using Image GPS data

Based on this image an alleged hacker was caught.

The FBI caught an alleged hacker of multiple government websites because he posted a picture of his girlfriend’s décolletage on Twitter (see picture on the right). Unfortunately, he seemed to forget that all iPhone photos include GPS information from where the photo was taken. And many picture-storage websites, like Flickr or Twitpic, retain this information. It seems like this is not the case with Facebook. I suppose they re-encode the images and do not include position information (at least not for users). Even though many people are aware of this, this case makes apparent how much private information we expose by just uploading an image. This stored information not only includes the GPS position but altitude, viewing direction (!) and of course the exact date and time. Here is an example of what information an iPhone image contains:

So if you are a hacker and want to tease the FBI, I would suggest making a screenshot of the picture before uploading it. Because screenshots do not include GPS coordinates (yet). I encourage you to try it out yourself by uploading a picture you took to Jefrey’s EXIF viewer.

Read more about GPS location in images at the EFF.

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  1. July 25, 2012 at 5:29 am

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  1. June 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

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