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BizReport : Research archives : January 25, 2007

Google: We Disclosed User Information

Online powerhouse Google has confirmed that more than a dozen users' personal information was unknowingly disclosed recently.

by Kristina Knight

The data disclosed included password and login information and came from Google Toolbar users. The breach was part of Google's accessible anti-phishing blacklist. Those users affected submitted the URLs of suspected phishing sites to Google through the listing according to VNUnet. According to Google the problem has been resolved and login and password information will be removed from future submissions to the blacklist. Google went on to say that those users affected by the breach have been notified of the problem.

Meanwhile Finjin, an online security firm, agrees with Google's assessment that the breach has been corrected. They say the list has been cleared of sensitive user information.

Phishers could abuse user information such as logins and passwords gained from any online breach to access other sensitive information like credit card numbers and bank account information, according to Finjin. That is because many users use the same information for multiple accounts. Finjin advises users to install security software and disable URL sharing on their browsers. They also advise using different logins and passwords for the websites they visit.

Google has been the most-used search engine for the past few years, garnering nearly 50% of search queries in 2006.

Tags: Google, phishing

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