back to article Top tip: Don't upload your confidential biz files to free malware-scanning websites – everything is public

Companies are inadvertently leaving confidential files on the internet for anyone to download – after uploading the documents to malware-scanning websites that make everything public. These file-probing websites open submitted documents in secure sandboxes to detect any malicious behavior. Businesses forward email attachments …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't leave us in suspense..

    Where can we download other companies' purchase orders?

    On a more serious note, for god sakes give us something to block by domain name in DNS or via IP in our firewalls.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Don't leave us in suspense..

      Domain name and IP are irrelevant. They'll shift regularly.

      Instead properly research any online services you use, and validate that they're legitimate, that they're compliant with relevant laws and that you both understand how they'll use the data you give to them and are happy with that.

  2. don't you hate it when you lose your account Bronze badge

    Insecurity by design

    Nuf said

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    …..not knowing that the sandbox sites publish a feed of submitted documents.

    Why ?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      So that companies making virus checkers can check their latest definitions etc.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Windows

    "In a month, a threat actor would have enough data to target multiple industries"

    Great. Give them ideas while you're at it.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "In a month, a threat actor would have enough data to target multiple industries"

      You think they didn't already have the idea some time ago?

  5. MatsSvensson

    New service!

    Email me your passwords, and my algorithm will check if they are compromised.

    Auto-reply: YEP!

    1. Crypto Monad

      Re: New service!

      Email me your passwords, and my algorithm will check if they are compromised.

      Already been done - e.g. https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords

      (TBF, that particular implementation takes a lot of care not to send the password to the server)

  6. Cavehomme_

    What sites?

    Are they talking about virustotal.com ?!

    1. brotherelf

      Re: What sites?

      Possibly. "This endpoint allows you to retrieve a live feed of absolutely all uploaded files to VirusTotal, and download them for further scrutiny, along with their full reports."

      It's not part of the free public API, but I've not investigated what amount of background checks they do for access to the for-pay private API.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What sites?

        TFW you cannot trust your company’s solution because they’re using some weird system and so you use VirusTotal...

        Yeah, I’m guilty of doing that last week out of desperation. Because our company’s been switching from the notoriously shitty McAfee ViruScan Enterprise to... something... [software name withheld, but I’ll say that the name is a synonym of ”guard-first”]. I’ve never heard of it and have never seen it mentioned anywhere before and thus am extremely suspicious of it. And then one of my higher-ups got wronged by someone, entered BOFH mode, and configured our Exchange server to stamp this ever-loving paranoia-inducing message (something like “This e-mail is from an external source, please be cautious of attachments”) on any incoming e-mails that has attachments, scaring the heck out of my colleagues - which is how we got here: colleague wants to be sure that the attachment she received is safe to open. Since VirusTotal is mentioned by many reputable sites and people I trust in the past, and I don’t trust that “guard-first”, I just hesitantly uploaded it to scan.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Devil

    The cloud...

    Fuck the cloud.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: The cloud...

      Time for verse two, I guess:

      "The cloud is going well today./

      "And all your data's slurped away./

      " 'Cause it's raining./

      "Raining in the cloud!"

  8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Excuse me, gotta check something...

  9. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    What part of FREE

    is a sustainable business model? What EXACTLY do you expect to get from a FREE service?

    I'm not overly annoyed at people in their private lives not realizing just what they are giving away in exchange for free email, search, social networking, etc. Especially following almost a hundred years of free radio & TV.

    I'm really, REALLY annoyed that anyone with a minor in economics or an MBA would fail to grasp that suppliers have to have viable business models. A free document scanning service is running a live & busy endpoint. Someone has to pay for that server, for the software its running, and the maintenance of both. Figure it out.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: What part of FREE

      Suppliers do NOT have tro have a viable business model. And what about the supplier's suppliers?

      VirusTotal was acquired by Google. They're not running it as a money-making exercise. See also Uber, Lyft, a million and one other "lose money gaining market share, make it up on volume" investor-fleecing scams.

      Finally, consider the vast volumes of Free / open source code in pretty much any org, even where they don't realise it.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: What part of FREE

        VirusTotal was acquired by Google. They're not running it as a money-making exercise.

        You meant the company that tries to acquire and sell all the information they can would purchase something like VirusTotal and then not try to milk it for all the information (aka money) they can get out of it? I'm not sure I follow your logic.

      2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: What part of FREE

        "VirusTotal was acquired by Google. They're not running it as a money-making exercise."

        You owe me a new keyboard.

        If there is a single company that is guaranteed to monetize your data, it is Google.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Predator becoms prey when a bigger Predator turns up.

      We've got so used to exploiting other people that we don't realise when we're the ones being exploited

      1. Locky Silver badge

        Re: Predator becoms prey when a bigger Predator turns up.

        The old adage is still true, if you're not paying for the service, you are the service

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019