What happens when Google Doc credentials are leaked on the Dark Web

Guess what? People start looking at your documents

A security company recently laid tempting bait online in order to see how hackers would react. The findings aren't surprising but show how quickly leaked data is used by shady characters.

California-based Bitglass, which specializes in cloud-based security, created a fake digital identity for an employee of a non-existent bank.

The details included credentials for a Google Drive account, complete with real credit card details, fake corporate data and personal data, according to Bitglass' report.

The files were tagged with a tracker so Bitglass could obtain some technical data on systems that accessed it. They also created a fake banking site portal.

The experiment simulated what would happen if a person was "phished," or had their online credentials stolen in some kind of trick or cyberattack. Bitglass leaked the details to so-called Dark Web websites where cybercriminals mingle.

Unsurprisingly, the Google Drive credentials were used fairly quickly. Bitglass said there were three attempted logins to Google Drive in the first day and five attempted logins to the fake bank site.

Within two days, files were downloaded from the Google Drive account. Most of those who accessed Google Drive also tried to use the same credentials for the victim's other online accounts.

Twelve percent of those who accessed Google Drive tried to download the sensitive files there, and one also managed to crack an encrypted file.

Bitglass conducted a similar experiment a year prior where it found that people accessing the tagged documents rarely used the anonymity network Tor, short for the The Onion Router.

This year, however, 68 percent of those who accessed the Google Drive account used Tor. Still, that leaves more than a third who didn't take any protections to mask their real IP address, which means they're more likely to be traced.

The finding demonstrates that "hackers are becoming more security conscious and know to mask their IPs when possible to avoid getting caught," the company said.

Of the systems that did not use Tor, 35 percent of the logins came from Russia, with about 16 percent in the U.S. and 3.5 percent from China, Bitglass said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?