Feeds

Google's Wi-Fi snoop nabbed passwords and emails

French inspection

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The Wi-Fi traffic collected by Google's world-roving Street View cars included passwords and email, according to a report citing a preliminary study from the French data protection authority.

IDG reports that the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) has examined part of the data, after it was turned over by Google. "It's still too early to say what will happen as a result of this investigation," CNIL told IDG.

"However, we can already state that [...] Google did indeed record e-mail access passwords [and] extracts of the content of email messages."

On May 14, contradicting previous assertions, Google said that its Street View cars had spent three years collecting payload data from unsecured W-Fi network across the globe. Previously, the company had said that in scanning open Wi-Fi networks, the cars were collecting only the SSIDs that identified the networks and MAC addresses that identified particular network hardware, including routers. Google uses this data in products that rely on location data, such as Google Maps.

In admitting it intercepted payloads as well, Google said that it only collected "fragments" of data, adding that its cars "are on the move" and that its in-car Wi-Fi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second. But according to the CNIL – an independent authority that oversees the country's data laws – at least some (very) personal data was captured intact.

Google captured data in thirty different countries. Some countries asked the company to delete the data – and in some cases, it complied – while others have requested that the data be kept for the time being so that the situation could be investigated. On June 4, Google shared the data its cars had collected in France with the CNIL. The CNIL told IDG that it was the first country to receive data from Google. Spain and Germany have also requested the data captured within their borders. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.