Russian search engine denies text leak claims

Russia’s Yandex denied on Tuesday that its search engine was to blame for the recent accidental leak of thousands of private text messages from the Megafon mobile operator.

About 8,000 text messages – complete with telephone numbers – were detected by Yandex after being sent from Megafon’s website.

The leak might have occurred because the affected texts were sent from computers with a Yandex toolbar installed, Megafon’s deputy head, Valery Yermakov, told a news conference. He said that the toolbar reportedly read the data and sent it to Yandex’s server.

Yandex dismissed the allegations, saying none of its products were able to read content on web pages if they are secured for detection.

Yermakov also said MegaFon was ready to cooperate with the country’s telecom watchdog, Roskomnadzor.

Yermakov said Megafon’s clients send 40 million text messages a day, including 135,000 sent from the company’s website-based text service.

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