On the 12th Day of Christmas: Lessons Learned in 2017

Verizon Data Leak

Verizon Data Leak

Welcome to the final day of Christmas and our last prediction for 2018. This time it comes from Verizon. It is unique compared to the other breaches we have reported on in the past 11 days. It may be a good time to check your cloud services.

The data found was on an Amazon S3 storage server controlled by a NICE Systems employee in Israel. NICE Systems are a third party company used by Verizon across their call centres and back offices. The cloud based file was set up to log the calls from customers, for reasons that are still unknown. It included names, addresses, account details and PINs of as many as 14 million US customers. The data was open to download by anyone who could access the easy to guess URL!

Amazingly, the company took a week to respond and secure the data after security firm UpGuard made them aware of the issue. When Verizon eventually responded, they attempted to reassure customers claiming that,

“We have been able to confirm that the only access to the cloud storage area by a person other than Verizon or its vendor was a researcher who brought this issue to our attention. In other words, there has been no loss or theft of Verizon or Verizon customer information.”

These are hardly words that are going to reassure customers, when gaining access to the data could have been so easy! With the increase of cloud based services making it easier and easier to store data, it is hardly a surprise that companies are looking at them to free space on their own servers. However, when they are used so liberally and without proper protection, it is hardly a surprise that access can be so easily granted.

A major lesson we see to be learned here is to ensure that if you use cloud based services, ensure they are properly protected. You don’t want the bad guys – or anyone for that matter – getting hold of that all important data of yours. CounterHack are always here to help you protect your data.

From everyone at CounterHack have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!