Bad news for thousands of users of the Microsoft searchable Docs.com service who have inadvertently exposed passwords and other private information on the Internet.
The Docs.com service allows people to easily exchange documents, it implements a useful search engine that helps users to search them for keywords.
“Docs.com is an online showroom where you can collect and publish Word documents, Excel workbooks, PowerPoint and Office Mix presentations, OneNote notebooks, PDF files, Sway stories, and Minecraft worlds. With Docs.com, it’s easy for you to share with others what interests you, and your content looks great on any device.” reads the description provided by Microsoft.
“Anything you publish with Public visibility will appear in worldwide search engine results and can be shared by you and others on social media sites. This option is a great way to get your work noticed. On the other hand, anything you publish with Limited visibility does not appear in search engine results and can be viewed only by people with whom a direct link to your content has been shared. Similarly, anything you publish with Organization visibility does not appear in search engine results and can be viewed only by those who sign in with a school or work account from your school or organization.”
A group of experts decided to analyze the service over the weekend searching for high private information. They started looking at files and documents containing search keys like “password” and “confidential,” and unfortunately the reality they discovered is disconcerting.
Microsoft have a website called https://t.co/3TC07CB8gE where Office 365 customers can share anything in public. It has a search function.
— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) March 25, 2017
Thousands of users are accidentally sharing personal and sensitive data via Docs.com, the experts have found bank account details, password lists, medical records, social security numbers and even a divorce settlement or two.
As you know this kind of information is a gift for hackers that could use them for illegal purposes such as financial scams and identity thefts.
“As part of our commitment to protect customers, we’re taking steps to help those who may have inadvertently published documents with sensitive information,” a spokesperson told The Reg. “Customers can review and update their settings by logging into their account at www.docs.com.”
Every time you use a web service it is essential to check security and privacy settings to avoid such kind of issues. Regarding the specific case, check if you and your colleagues has shared info on the Docs.com labeling it as public.
(Security Affairs – Docs.com, data leak)