Slack now lets you DM anyone — and that’s a problem

Slack is going to start letting its users direct-message people outside of their company with the newfeature.

The service was originally announced, but it’s only just started rolling out. The goal is to ensure companies working with partners or clients can communicate, though there are so many more possibilities than that.

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has focussed on the risk of abuse and spam that stems from letting outsiders send messages to private Slack channels. Those concerns are because Slack has no options to block or report other users.

If this makes you uncomfortable, remember that Slack doesn’t encrypt your messages, can store them indefinitely even if you don’t have access to them, and that in many cases your employer can read and search for everything you’ve posted, even DMs.

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But there are, rightfully, concerns about security and privacy, such as the fact that Slack doesn’t encrypt your messages, and stores them indefinitely. That includes direct messages, which can be accessed archived and exported if your employer has a. 

That will likely include direct messages sent between companies, and presumably those conversations would be available to admins on both sides.

But personal privacy isn’t the only issue, because it could expose company’s sensitive information.

Remember thefrom last year? The one that had celebrities tweeting out an almost-identical Bitcoin scam? 

According to ainvestigation, it all happened because a hacker managed to get into Twitter’s private Slack channel. Once there “Kirk”, as he was known, was able to access a service that gave him access to Twitter servers. Access that was then reportedly used to launch the crypto scam.

The story hasn’t been confirmed by Twitter, which declined to comment at the time. But it does go to show how something could go wrong if you give private Slack access to someone with nefarious intentions. 

Last week, an 18-year-old Florida man wasfor the hack, which took place while he was a juvenile. Florida authorities said he convinced a Twitter employee that he also was a Twitter employee and deserved access to Twitter’s internal systems.

Connect DMs won’t give outsiders unfettered access to a private Slack channel, but it does mean there’s another potential hole in security. Slack may not be the most obvious target for hackers, but we’ve already seen what can happen if they manage to access the wrong conversations. So Slack admins take note.

Slack Connect DMs is rolling out to paid users today, and will eventually come to free users “soon”.

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