Cyber Security Today: Configure your Google Groups properly, get Redis settings right, hack at a BC school board

Configure your Google Groups properly, get Redis settings right, and an email hack at a British Columbia school board

We’re bringing you the latest cyber security news Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Monday June 4th. To hear the podcast, click on the arrow below:

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Does your organization use Google Groups for discussion and collaboration? If so, make sure the settings don’t allow the conversations to be seen on the public Internet. Otherwise sensitive corporate or personal information will be available to anyone. That warning comes from security writer Brian Krebs. He was tipped off by researchers who found thousands of organizations that seem to be inadvertently leaking internal or customer information. If the group can be seen, a search of words like “password,” “account,” “HR,” “accounting,” and “username” could turn up treasures for an attacker, or a competitor.

By default Google Groups is set to private. That’s good. But sometimes someone changes a setting to “public”, and things are open to the world. Google has a blog on its GSuite Updates site how to secure Groups. Or, if you go to the site for today’s podcast script, it will include the link.

Speaking of properly configuring things, IT departments may be familiar with an open source in-memory data structure storage software called Redis. It can be used as a database, cache and message broker. Well, it can have security problems if not configured right. A security vendor called Imperva is warning that because of what it holds, Redis shouldn’t be able to be seen on the public Internet. Unfortunately, many IT administrators haven’t got the message. Imperva research suggests thousands of Redis instances are exposed to the Internet, and most have been infected with malware. Redis doesn’t support encryption. So the lesson is to make sure Redis isn’t exposed to the Internet, and use two-factor authentication for users who have to access it.

Finally, a news site called British Columbia Local News is reporting the Sooke School District is warning parents about a privacy invasion after an employee’s email was hacked. The warning, which went to about 1,300 families said that the email account of a staff member was compromised by someone outside of the district and used to email out a spam informational link to other staff. Approximately 15 staff members clicked on the link, thereby exposing their email accounts and email contents to the hacker.

All emails addresses that were affected have been deactivated, but the contents of the emails could have been compromised, meaning some emails from students in the district could be visible.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing. Thanks for listening. I’m Howard Solomon.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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