In their latest research, The International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) has reported that photos and videos posted on social networks and media sharing sites can be used to reveal the geographical location of people who post them, making them vulnerable to “cybercasing”, that is, using geotagged information embedded in the files to mount attacks in the real world.
Geotagged information can be automatically embedded by digital cameras and smart phones. ICSI’s researchers matched the latitude and longitude embedded in images with Google Maps Street View, to find where the photos were taken. In fact, in some cases, they were able to discover home addresses of people who had upload their photos and videos on sites like Craigslist and YouTube, even when they had opted to hide their real names and email addresses.
ICSI will present these results at the USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Security next month.
Image by Thomas Hawk