Google Drive becomes a goldmine for pirated, explicit content

Cyber criminals are freely storing and sharing illegal software licenses, movies, games and porn content -- most of which have allegedly been indexed in Google Search as some Drive users made such links public in their individual accounts

IANSUpdated:Sunday, January 24, 2021, 08:06 PM IST
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New Delhi: Cyber criminals and pirates of the Internet now have a new goldmine in Google Drive where they are freely storing and sharing illegal software licenses, movies, games and porn content -- most of which have allegedly been indexed in Google Search as some Drive users made such links public in their individual accounts.

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronisation service that allows users to store files on their servers, synchronise files across devices, and share files. According to independent cyber security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia, thousands of such explicit and illegal content is being circulated via Google Drive, in zipped compressed files.

"Apart from thousands of porn videos, at least 25,000-30,000 links are likely sharing illegal content like malware, software, movies, games and what not. One can search such links in Google Drive at ease. Just do a search and download at will," Rajaharia told IANS on Sunday and shared several such screenshots.

The irony is that movies/games/software that have been removed from Google Search on the basis of copyright violation are available in Google Drive for faster download. "Unlike other file sharing websites, Google Drive allows faster downloads so such illegal and explicit content is thriving on its platform," the cyber security researcher claimed.

An email sent to Google on if such content is being stored and shared freely on Drive did not elicit any response. Under its terms of service, Google says that "We may review content to determine whether it is illegal or violates our Program Policies, and we may remove or refuse to display content that we reasonably believe violates our policies or the law. But that does not necessarily mean that we review content, so please don't assume that we do".

While Google doesn't go into the details of its detection methods, it uses file-hashes to detect infringing content. According to Rajaharia, Google Drive is dangerous in a sense because one can search anything easily on its platform that other file-sharing websites.

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