Records associated with 689,272 plaintext records Amex India customers were exposed online via unsecured MongoDB server.
Personal details of nearly 700,000 American Express (Amex India) India customers were exposed online via an unsecured MongoDB server.
The huge trove of data was discovered by Bob Diachenko from cybersecurity firm Hacken, most of the records were encrypted, but 689,272 records were stored in plaintext.
The expert located the database by using IoT search engines such as Shodan and BinaryEdge.io.
“On 23rd October I discovered an unprotected Mongo DB which allowed millions of records to be viewed, edited and accessed by anybody who might have discovered this vulnerability. The records appeared to be from an American Express branch in India.” states the blog post published by Diachenko.
689,272 plaintext records included personal details of Amex India customers’ phone numbers, names, email addresses, and ‘type of card’ description fields.
The archive included 2,332,115 records containing encrypted data (i.e. names, addresses, Aadhaar numbers, PAN card numbers, and phone numbers.
“Upon closer examination, I am inclined to believe that the database was not managed by AmEx itself but instead by one their subcontractors who were responsible for SEO or lead generation. I came to this conclusion since many of the entries contained fields such as ‘campaignID’, ‘prequalstatus’ and ‘leadID’ etc.” added Diachenko.
Diachenko promptly reported his findings to Amex India that immediately took down the server. At the time of writing is not clear how much time the server remained exposed online, Amex India that investigated the case declared that it did not discover any “evidence of unauthorized access.”
“We applaud AmEx’s rapid response to this issue, noting they immediately took down that server upon notification and began further investigations.” Diachenko concluded.
“As we learned from this incident, one never knows when transient firewall rules may inadvertently expose your development machines to the public. In this case, it appears to have only exposed some long-lost personal information of an unknown number of AmEx India customers, but for others, it could be critical intellectual property or even your entire subscriber base that is at risk of being exposed.”
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.