RealNews

Online document search reveals secrets

Many documents published online may unintentionally reveal sensitive corporate or personal information, according to a US computer researcher. Simon Byers, at AT&T’s research laboratory in the US, was able to unearth hidden information from many thousands of Microsoft Word documents posted online using a few freely available software tools and some basic programming techniques. Sophisticated editing programs will often store information in a document file that the end user will not see. Storing recently deleted text can, for example, make editing a more efficient process. But Byers says it could also expose unaware users to significant risks. In his report, Byers suggests that a crook could analyse electronic documents to gather information that could help them carry out corporate espionage or steal someone else’s identity to commit fraud. Full Story

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