Data On 6 Million Verizon Customers Leaked Online

Data On 6 Million Verizon Customers Leaked Online

Data On 6 Million Verizon Customers Leaked Online

A third-party analytics provider, NICE Systems, was using Amazon's S3 cloud platform to store "customer call data" from telelcom providers including Verizon.

The data itself related to log files that were generated by Verizon customers calling the company between January and June this year with the data being compiled to "realize intent and extract and leverage insights to deliver impact in real time". UpGuard informed Verizon of the security risk on June 13, but it wasn't fixed until June 22. Apparently, one of NICE System's engineers working out of Ra'anana in Israel misconfigured the data repository, exposing millions of data points.

Verizon also said in its statement that the PINs exposed in the breach aren't useful for accessing customer accounts online.

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Verizon, the USA telecommunications juggernaut, has admitted that the data of at least six million of customers, including names, addresses, account details and account PIN numbers, were exposed online. The company said the only person who got access to the data was the researcher who brought the leak to its attention.

The data vulnerability was first discovered by IT monitoring company UpGuard, which said it estimated the amount of users affected by averaging the number of accounts exposed per day in a sample it downloaded.

A third-party vendor for USA telecommunications carrier Verizon exposed the data of around 6 million customers on Wednesday, July 12.

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Lieu, a Verizon customer, is concerned about possible misuse of the data. According to Vickery, up to 14 million clients are still at risk of having their data compromised, ZDNet reports.

The files that UpGuard reviewed contained records like customer names, phone numbers and addresses, and most disturbingly in some cases, unmasked PIN numbers, which can be used to impersonate customers and change their account settings. "Third-party vendor risk is business risk; sharing access to sensitive business data does not offload this risk, but merely extends it to the contracted partner, enabling cloud leaks to stretch across several continents and involve multiple enterprises".

A researcher over at UpGuard happened upon this security hole through the NICE systems.

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Gartner analyst Avivah Litan said the issue comes down to human error and it doesn't make sense to blame cloud service providers like Amazon and Google.

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