Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Online Images Can Carry Location Data, Leave Users Vulnerable to “Cybercasing”

Photos and videos posted on Web sites such as Craigslist and Twitter can carry detailed information about where the images were taken, according to researchers at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI). This may leave them vulnerable to “cybercasing,” the use of geo-tagged information available online to mount attacks in the real world.

In an ICSI technical report published May 2, Gerald Friedland and Robin Sommer reported that they were able to identify where images posted online were captured. This information is automatically embedded by higher-end digital cameras and smart phones, such as the iPhone. People who post these images are often unaware that they are also posting data about their location.

Friedland and Sommer cross-referenced the latitude and longitude embedded in images with publicly available information, such as Google Maps Street View, to quickly find where photos were taken. The researchers, for example, identified the home addresses of people who put photos on Craigslist, even when those posting the photos had opted to hide their real names and email addresses.

In one search of YouTube videos, the researchers were able to find users with homes near downtown Berkeley by searching the embedded geo-location data. They included the search term “kids” since many home videos are of users’ children. They then searched for videos posted by the same users that had been filmed over 1000 miles away. Within fifteen minutes, the researchers were able to find a resident of Albany, California who was vacationing in the Carribbean, along with a dozen other users who might be vulnerable to burglary.

The results will be presented at the USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Security in August. The research has been featured on the ABC News Web site and in New Scientist magazine.

"Cybercasing the Joint: On the Privacy Implications of Geo-Tagging." G. Friedland and R. Sommer. Proceedings of the Fifth USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Security (HotSec 10), Washington, D.C., August 2010.
Related articles:
Celebrities' Photos, Videos May Reveal Location, ABC News
Geo-Tags Reveal Celeb Secrets, New Scientist
The International Computer Science Institute is a non-profit research institute located in Berkeley, California. For over 20 years, ICSI has provided a collaborative environment where prominent computer science researchers from all over the world pursue cutting edge research on a variety of computer science topics.

Chris Switzer | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature
12.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>