Data belonging to 14 million U.S.-based Verizon customers have been exposed on an unprotected AWS Server by a partner of the telecommunications company.
The notorious security expert Chris Vickery, UpGuard director of cyber risk research. as made another disconcerting discovery, more than 14 million US customers’ personal details have been exposed after the third-party vendor NICE left the sensitive records open on an unprotected AWS Server.
NICE Systems is an Israeli firm that offers several solutions for intelligence agencies, including telephone voice recording, data security, and surveillance systems.
Exposed data also revealed that NICE Systems has a partnership with Paris-based telecommunication company “Orange,” it seems that the third-party firm collects customer details across Europe and Africa.
“The data repository, an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket administered by a NICE Systems engineer based at their Ra’anana, Israel headquarters, appears to have been created to log customer call data for unknown purposes;” reads a blog post published by Vickery. “Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless carrier, uses NICE Systems technology in its back-office and call center operations. In addition, French-language text files stored in the server show internal data from Paris-based telecommunications corporation Orange S.A.—another NICE Systems partner that services customers across Europe and Africa.”
The exposed data are sensitive information of millions of customers, including names, phone numbers, and account PINs (personal identification numbers).
The huge trove of data is related to the customers’ calls to the Verizon’s customer services in the past 6 months.
“Beyond the risks of exposed names, addresses, and account information being made accessible via the S3 bucket’s URL, the exposure of Verizon account PIN codes used to verify customers, listed alongside their associated phone numbers, is particularly concerning.” continues the expert, “Possession of these account PIN codes could allow scammers to successfully pose as customers in calls to Verizon, enabling them to gain access to accounts—an especially threatening prospect, given the increasing reliance upon mobile communications for purposes of two-factor authentication.”
It is still unclear why Verizon allowed NICE to collect call details, experts speculate the third party vendor was tasked to monitor the efficiency of its call-center operators for Verizon.
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