Millions Of Verizon Customers Exposed By Third-party Data Leak

Audrey Hill
July 14, 2017

This is an Israeli-based company working with Verizon to manage calls coming in from customers.

Verizon said that its partner Nice Systems was supporting an initiative created to improve a call centre portal, which is why it had access to such sensitive customer data.

"The long duration of time between the initial June 13th notification to Verizon by UpGuard of this data exposure, and the ultimate closure of the breach on June 22nd, is troubling", Upguard wrote.

According to Verizon, a Nice Systems employee put information about some of its customers on an Amazon S3 storage server, that allowed external access.

The misconfigured server was discovered by cybersecurity firm UpGuard, which earlier reported that as many as 14 million Verizon customers were affected by the leak.

Verizon's says that UpGuard, the researcher who discovered the data, was the only person outside of Verizon or Nice who accessed anything and that there "has been no loss or theft of Verizon or Verizon customer information".

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These Verizon data leaks have resulted in the phone numbers, names, and some PIN codes of Verizon users becoming publicly available.

The storage area belonged to Nice Systems, a Verizon vendor which does business related to call-center management. It also insists that the majority of the data has no value outside the company.

The carrier also played down concerns that PINS and associated phone numbers could be used to access customer accounts, saying that PINs are only used to authenticate calls to its call centre and do not provide online access.

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 contents included the records of individuals' calls to a customer support line, and voice recognition log files, as well as the more personal data such as names, addresses, phone numbers - and information such as customer satisfaction tracking and service purchases.

However, it took over a week before the data was eventually secured, according to the ZDNet report. However, Verizon said that this was done in error and wasn't intentional. Vickery also discovered earlier this year that some information of almost 200 million voters was exposed by a data firm working for Republican Party clients.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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