Personal Google Calendar calendars available on the web can endanger user privacy and open the door to hacker attacks. According to a report released last week by the specialized website The Hacker News, digital security researcher Avinash Jain found that compromises can easily be discovered with a Google search and are likely to be manipulated by injecting malicious links.
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The problem only affects calendars that are publicly shared by the user. However, it is possible that some people are unaware that sharing leaves the history of events so exposed on the Internet. According to the publication, there are currently over 8,000 publicly available calendars on the web.
Google Calendar can expose data without the user knowing Photo: Divulgao / Google
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Calendar publishing is a Google Calendar feature that helps you create collaborative events: the user enables public sharing, and anyone on the Internet can access the scheduling of an event, for example. However, the type of information available on these online calendars indicates that users may not be aware of the exposure level.
Expert Avinash Jain explained to the The Hacker News who was able to access public calendars from various organizations that leaked sensitive information in describing appointments such as emails, meeting locations, internal presentations and links to video conferences accessible by anyone in the world. The suspicion that calendars will be published online without the company or user knowing the real consequences.
Criminals may collect important data to apply scams or add new events with information or links created with malicious codes in order to attract victims and steal sensitive data.
The best way to avoid exposing sensitive data from web calendars is to avoid making a Google Calendar public. It is important to check in the settings if the Make available to public option is disabled. If publishing a calendar is really necessary, it is advisable to check the option View only available / busy levels and not to add personal data to events, as the information will always be public on the web.
Avoid making calendars publicly available to keep you safe Photo: Reproduction / Paulo Alves
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