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Doxed by Microsoft’s Docs.com: Users unwittingly shared sensitive docs publicly

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On March 25, security researcher Kevin Beaumont discovered something very unfortunate on Docs.com, Microsoft’s free document-sharing site tied to the company’s Office 365 service: its homepage had a search bar. That in itself would not have been a problem if Office 2016 and Office 365 users were aware that the documents they were posting were being shared publicly.

Unfortunately, hundreds of them weren’t. As described in a Microsoft support document, “with Docs.com, you can create an online portfolio of your expertise, discover, download, or bookmark works from other authors, and build your brand with built-in SEO, analytics, and email and social sharing.” But many users used Docs.com to either share documents within their organizations or to pass them to people outside their organizations—unaware that the data was being indexed by search engines.

You can probably see where I’m going with this and https://t.co/3TC07CB8gE. pic.twitter.com/zCJAcNNx3a

— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) March 25, 2017

Within a few hours, Beaumont, a number of other researchers, and Ars found a significant number of documents shared with sensitive information in them—some of them discoverable by just entering “passwords” or “SSN” or “account number.”

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Cloud computing pushes into the classroom, but not without challenges

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Enlarge / Seth Erdman, center, and his fellow students use Chromebooks while working on a lesson in a third grade class on Friday, January 16, 2015, at Walden Elementary School in Deerfield, Illinois. (Anthony Souffle) (credit: Chicago Tribune / Contributor)

When you think about a traditional school workflow, it’s not unlike that of a business: paper is generated and moved in a systematic way between the children and the teacher. Just as cloud computing has transformed workflows in business to make them more collaborative and mobile, that same type of change has been coming to schools. Children and teachers use the power of the cloud to collaborate while accessing, storing, and sharing content.

As with business, this change is ongoing, uneven, and by no means complete. But if schools are at least partly about preparing children for the next generation of work, then the cloud needs to be a part of that preparation. Just as some businesses have struggled to transition to the cloud, schools face similar challenges. But because schools involve a specific demographic—children from a variety of abilities and socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds—their challenges can be even more complicated.

Slowly but surely, in spite of the issues, cloud tools are coming to the classroom. As more companies, large and small, help schools bring about this transition in a way that makes sense for teachers and children in a classroom context, we are seeing a shift to the cloud and all the advantages (and problems) that brings.

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Charter promises Trump a broadband push, but no extra Internet connections

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Enlarge / President Donald Trump and Charter CEO Tom Rutledge. (credit: White House)

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge met with President Donald Trump today, and he made a splashy promise to “invest $25 billion in broadband infrastructure and technology in the next four years.”

But Charter, the second biggest US cable company after Comcast, was already planning broadband expansions during the Obama administration. When Charter purchased Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks 10 months ago, it agreed to a merger condition requiring it to bring 60Mbps download speeds to an additional two million customer locations.

The spending Charter promised Trump today won’t guarantee broadband access for any additional customers beyond what the company already committed to during the Obama years.

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