ShareThis Page
Technology

Russian search engine alerts Google to possible data problem

| Thursday, July 5, 2018, 12:30 p.m.
Pixabay

MOSCOW — Google said Thursday that its document writing tool Google Documents was secure even as Russian internet users discovered scores of files that appeared to be intended for private use.

The Russian internet company Yandex said in a statement that some users contacted the company Wednesday to say that its public search engine was yielding what looked like personal Google Documents files, suggesting there may have been a data breach.

On Wednesday night, Russian social media users started posting scores of such documents, including an internal memo from a Russian bank, press summaries and company business plans. The veracity of those documents could not be independently confirmed.

Google said in a statement that search engines can only turn up Google documents that had either been deliberately made public by its authors or when a user publishes a link to a document and makes it available for public access and search.

“Saving and protecting users' personal data is our main priority,” the company said. “Google Documents is a highly protected tool for joint work and it is working correctly.”

It did not elaborate.

Ilya Grabovsky, a spokesman for Yandex, said its search only yields files that don't require logins or passwords. He added that the files were also turning up in other search engines.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me