Verizon data breach sees details of 14 million customers exposed

Terry Joseph
July 14, 2017

This time it's Verizon customers in the United States who were at risk, and the exposure is due to a misconfigured cloud-based file repository owned by Nice Systems.

According to ZDNet's report, Verizon also had no prior knowledge that all of this data was exported by Nice Systems, which makes the whole situation even more concerning. Nice Systems also claims that none of their systems or products have been breached either, but regardless the fact that it was sitting exposed is probably not the most comfortable of ideas.

UpGuard, the company that discovered the problem, said that exposed text files were from calls made between January 1 and June 22 of this year.

The data repository "was totally publicly accessible, anyone entering a URL in a browser would have been able to access it", said Dan O'Sullivan, cyber-resilience analyst with UpGuard, the Mountain View, Calif. company that found the data. Verizon's statement yesterday says specifically that the data was provided to a vendor who was supporting a project aimed to improve a "residential and small business wireline self-service call center portal".

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The hack, or really more so the door that was left wide open for anybody to see allowed interested parties to see customer names, phone numbers, and in some instances PIN numbers for their Verizon accounts. The company, which said an "overwhelming majority of information in the data set had no external value", asserted that nobody malicious has had access to the information. Apparently, Nice Systems has mistakenly stored data such as telephone numbers and PINs to an unsecure cloud storage area, exposing the customers' privacy.

On its Twitter account, Verizon said there was no loss or theft of Verizon or Verizon customer information.

The compromised log files, which are generated when a user calls Verizon's help line, included customers' names, mobile phone number, and their account PIN.

Upguard added in its assessment of the breach: "This exposure is a potent example of the risks of third-party vendors handling sensitive data". He is the person who exposed various data sets in past. Some people can use them to gain access to the person's phone service. "The worst case is that you lose access to all the services that use SMS for two-factor authentication, and countless services use and rely on SMS on being what is assumed to be a secure channel".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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