Do you chat with friends, family, or co-workers using a messenger app? If so, your personal conversations, private messages and personal files could've been exposed in an embarrassing security blunder for a fast-growing Internet company.
Cybersecurity researchers discovered big security gaps last week in an IM program used by millions of people like you, as well as Fortune 500 companies, healthcare companies, Internet service providers (ISPs) and other companies.
The problem was discovered on the Slack messenger program that you might use at work to discuss internal projects or share sensitive personnel records. The problem? Some computer coding that allowed unauthorized users to access Slack accounts was posted on the site GitHub.
Here's what went wrong. While millions of people use Slack every day to send messages like, "I made some changes to your Microsoft Word document," your company may also use chatbots on Slack. Those are just automated responses to frequently asked questions. For example, "Slack, can you reboot the server?" There are thousands of Slack bots.
The problem is that some developers post their bots on sites like GitHub, so that other people can use the coding. Things went seriously wrong last week, however, when cybersecurity researchers discovered that unauthorized users could use that coding to hack into your Slack or your company's Slack account.
There are at least a couple of issues here. That could be embarrassing if your private chats were exposed. But it could be serious if your company's employees' financial records were exposed.
There is some good news to report, though. Slack representatives say the company is actively searching online for Slack bots, and disabling them.
Keep reading Happening Now. We'll let you know if we hear more details about this Slack security blunder.