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Harvesting google profiles

May 19, 2011 8 comments

Some minutes ago, I saw an interesting tweet from Mikko H. Hypponen saying that he found out that all (yes, as in ALL – 35,513,445 )  google profiles addresses can be retrieved from a single XML file  . Looked through it and , yeap, he was quite right.

Well , all these information is going to be useful somehow ,right? Right. In case it’s going to be removed here is a simple way to harvest them before that happens :

#!/usr/bin/env python

import urllib
from BeautifulSoup import BeautifulStoneSoup as bs

xml = bs(urllib.urlopen('http://www.gstatic.com/s2/sitemaps/profiles-sitemap.xml').read())
for i in xml.findAll('loc'):
    try:
        urllib.urlretrieve(i.text, i.text[35:])
        print 'Downloaded %s' % i.text[35:]
    except Exception, err:
        print '%s could not be retrieved' % i.text
print 'All done'

That’s it, save it , run it and wait 🙂 Not that I used it, but I calculate that you get around 1.7 GB worth of profile links .

Well , the juicy part is obviously the harvesting of the information from the profiles themselves. People are mentioning on twitter that Google is aware for a long time, or at least should be. Thoughts about the potential implications from that harvesting, on a blogpost to come .