Major Yale University Security Breach via Google Search

Google recently revealed that sensitive data of more than 43,000 people related to the Yale University was publicly accessible for 10 months. The security breach also affected the members of the secret society known as Skulls and Bones.

Everything started in September 2010 when Google modified its search engine so that it also indexes FTP (File Transfer Protocol) servers. As the Yale University officials were not aware of this change, the FTP server on which the sensitive data was stored also became findable and indexable via Google. The server on which the file with the sensitive data was kept was mainly used for storing open source materials. The name of that particular file did not give away any hints on what type of data it contained. Still, in the wrong hands, who knows how this information could be used. The university staff discovered the breach as late as June 30.

The exposed information includes only the name and the social security number of more than 43,000 professors, students, alumni and staff. Many of these people who had their name and social security number on that file worked or studied at the university in 1999. A number of these is represented by members of Skulls and Bones, the reputable secret society of the Yale University. One of the reasons why this society is so famous is that several presidents of the US were part of it. However, the main point is that data that is intended to be kept secret should not become publicly available in such a manner. At the moment, Google does not want to reveal who accessed the data and how many times.

Universities that store sensitive information that might one day become publicly available thanks to Google are urged to increase the security standards. This is particularly recommended to the ones that are connected to secret societies such as this one.  Most importantly, you should keep in mind that information is not safe on the Internet, especially when it is accessible by giants like Google and Facebook.

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