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Google Virus Total leaks list of spooky email addresses – Naked Security

In a recent data breach incident, a file containing the names, email addresses, and employers of approximately 5600 individuals was mistakenly uploaded to the scanning and sharing service, Virus Total. While the leaked information may seem harmless, it included the personal details of global cybersecurity experts from various intelligence agencies, law enforcement groups, and military personnel. Recorded Future, a threat intelligence company, and German news site Der Spiegel have identified several victims, including the NSA, FBI, US Cyber Command, German BSI, UK’s National Cybersecurity Centre, and more. The leak also affected government ministries and big companies in several countries.

The incident occurred due to a mistake made by an employee within Virus Total. The platform allows users to upload suspicious files for malware scanning and sharing with participating vendors. However, this feature also introduces the risk of unintentionally sharing files that should never have been released. In this case, the employee mistakenly uploaded a file containing sensitive information instead of a malware sample. This serves as a reminder that even with the best intentions, anyone can make such errors, especially when using multiple file upload services for different purposes.

To prevent similar incidents, individuals can adopt certain digital lifestyle changes. Logging out from online accounts when not in use reduces the risk of unintentional interactions. Additionally, organizations can implement controls and restrictions on file uploads. IT teams can utilize firewall upload rules or data loss prevention policies to limit which files can be sent to specific sites. While these measures may seem restrictive, they help prevent accidental data leaks and protect sensitive information.

It is crucial to understand that mistakes happen, and it is better to have strict upload restrictions than to face the consequences of an unintended data breach. The incident involving the Google employee who uploaded the wrong file serves as a reminder that everyone should take precautions to prevent such errors and ensure the security of sensitive information.

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