Feeds

Google Groups blunder exposes THOUSANDS of Japanese govt emails

Messages are public-by-default you say? Oh dear...

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The Japanese government has admitted sharing thousands of email conversations with world+dog after a mix-up over Google Groups' privacy settings.

Officials from several ministries shared messages on the free web-based service without realising that the default setting is for public access to all discussions, the Daily Yomiuri reported.

Staff at the Environment Ministry; Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry; and Reconstruction Agency all seem to have leaked.

“Our security awareness was weak,” an Environment Ministry official told the paper.

Blunders at the ministry exposed emails sent back in January relating to government negotiations at the Minamata Convention on Mercury, including those of its chief negotiator Ryutaro Yatsu.

All offending messages have now been made private, however, the ministry has apparently begun an investigation into the accidental leak, suspecting the use of Google Groups may have violated internal regulations.

“We have our own internal system to share e-mails, but we used Google because it was convenient,” an official told the Yomiuri.

The Japanese government is not the only institution to be left red-faced after the revelations. Data affecting 5,000 people was apparently exposed in the same way by various private businesses and medical institutions.

Although not mentioned in its own story, the Yomiuri has also admitted some of its journalists accidentally revealed draft stories and interview transcripts thanks to Google Groups blunders, AFP claimed.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
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
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.