Last week, security researchers discovered an unprotected, publicly accessible MongoDB database containing 150 gigabytes-worth of detailed, plaintext marketing data—including 763 million unique email addresses. The trove is not only massive but also unusual; it contains data about individual consumers as well as what appears to be “business intelligence data,” like employee and revenue figures from various companies. This diversity may stem from the information’s source. The database, owned by the “email validation” firm Verifications.io, was taken offline the same day it was reported to the company.
Chris DeRamus, CTO at DivvyCloud:
“The data exposed in this leak of nearly 809 million records is unique, and highly exploitable since it includes business intelligence data such as employee and revenue figures from various companies, as well as genders, user IP addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and more. If a bad actor were to discover this massive trove of data, they could easily validate the contact information for the users included to launch a more focused phishing or brute force campaign.
We live in a world where data is king—collecting, storing and leveraging data is essential to running just about any type of business you can think of. All the more reason organizations must be diligent in ensuring data is protected with proper security controls. Automated cloud security solutions would have been able to detect the misconfiguration in the MongoDB database containing this information and could either alert the appropriate personnel to correct the issue, or trigger an automated remediation in real-time. These solutions are essential to enforce policy, reduce risk, provide governance, impose compliance and increase security across large-scale hybrid cloud infrastructure.”