The Channel logo


By | Drew Cullen 16th October 2006 21:22

Wired editor smokes out MySpace pedo

Top-notch journalism

Hats off to Kevin Poulsen for one of the best articles in tech journalism you will read this year. The one-time hacker extraordinaire, and now senior editor at Wired, combined investigative reporting and code-writing skills to collar a predatory pedophile reaching out to teenage boys through MySpace.

Andrew Lubrano, a 39 year-old father of five, was arrested at his Long Island home by NY Suffolk County Police, and is currently held on bail. He is one of 744 registered sex offenders with profiles on the social networking site discovered by Kevin Poulsen.

Armed with nothing more than a self-written Perl script, Poulsen compared MySpace membership with a roll-call of 385,932 registered sex offenders in 46 states to compile the list - a task that MySpace said was impossible.

As Poulsen notes, his search "is only going to produce people who use their real names and addresses, and who are perhaps the least likely of the offenders to be up to no good'" Current or future predators will be more likely to disguise their identity.

Wired News will publish Poulsen's code under an open-source license this week.

You don't have to wait that long for Poulsen's article: it's here. ®

alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe