Google Apps Bug Exposes Personal Data Belonging to More Than 200K Domain Owners

A Google Apps bug has publicly revealed 282,867 hidden WHOIS records. Domains registered with eNom with WHOIS record protection renewed through Google Apps in 2013 were affected, Cisco announced in a recent blog post.

Of the over 300,000 domains registered with eNom through Google, 94 percent were affected, with full names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses being exposed in WHOIS records. While many domains are registered without WHOIS protection, the information provided can be a valuable tool for hackers seeking to set up phishing or spam campaigns or even take over a site or identity.

Cisco discovered the flaw and notified Google on Feb. 19, and was fixed five days later. Google then assessed the application of WHOIS protection for customers registered with other partners, and confirmed the problem was limited to eNom domains.

Cisco says that at its peak at least 90 percent of domains registered with eNom via Google utilized privacy protection, and when the fix was applied less than one percent were protected.

Google notified affected customers and apologized in a letter sent last week, but Cisco warns that the now re-hidden information is still available to anyone with access to archived WHOIS data. Despite that, the communication and co-operation between the two tech giants seems to have gone more smoothly than when Google was called out by Microsoft for disclosing a vulnerability before it had been resolved in January.

eNom has been having a challenging March, though it is not entirely to blame. The registrar suffered a DNS outage affecting a third of its customers earlier in the month.

Google launched its new Cloud Security Scanner for Google App Engine to beta in February to protect app security. Whether this incident raises security concerns withGoogle’s recently launched domains service remains to be seen.