Access anyone's Facebook "profile picture" in full resolution regardless of the ACL restriction Apr 01 2014 09:59AM
Bipin Gautam (bipin gautam gmail com)
Hi List,

I felt like writing / pointing this minor issue, as it as its "Facebook" ...

This issue is due to the way facebook pictures are stored in CDN
without authentication mechanism, during accessing it. (which would be
way technically complicated to implement it)

Also, it is a Facebook feature that... if you have full path of an
image, you can pass it to anyone over the internet which they can
access it directly (and the facebook user should not have unrealistic
expectation to privacy. Hence, if someone can access an image they can
save/email it to others, anyway.)


( Please TEST it in a real profile, real world example and it should
work. I obviously changed the URL, POC below, to gibberish
"6549_16544614736_444444875_n.jpg" )


You could try this by :

- changing your own facebook profile picture viewable to "only me",
then bookmark your own Facebook profile and logout and clear cache.

- or then try different browser with your own profile from bookmark,
without logging in to facebook!

- or pass your FB profile to a friend, with the following instruction.


- then, in your browser, "Right click the Facebook profile image" that
you want to access in full resolution (that have ACL as access to
"only me" or "friends" ) > click "Copy image location" > paste it in

sample url you will get (this link below is broken)

:[1] https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-frc3/t1.0-1/c0.18.160.1

to remove from [1]: "/c0.18.160.160/p160x160" (part; in other cases,
the url structure may be different, you just have to find and remove
this middle part...)

final modified url from above, which you can access the profile
picture in full resolution via your browser :



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