A leaky online database belonging to marketing and email delivery provider Maropost was found lacking minimum security measures, exposing 95 million email records belonging to their customers.
Researchers from Cybernews stumbled on the unprotected database on a Google Cloud server in the U.S., and noted that it contained 19,214,884 unique email IDs used in 95 million records, and email logs with timestamps and email recipient information. Big company names such as Hard Rock, New York Post and Mercedez-Benz among the 10,000+ clients using their marketing and commerce solutions.
Further complicating this distressing situation, researchers were unable to contact the company to lay out their findings. After multiple failed attempts starting January 30, the analysists notified The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). On April 1st, Maropost finally replied, stating that, “the email addresses in the database were randomized data the company uses for internal testing.”
Following the disclosure of the incident, researchers confirmed that the database is now secure and no longer accessible.
A lingering question is who else might have had access to the database? It’s not know how long the server was left exposed, so we have to assume that any individual with the means and motive to snoop out faulty server security measures could have also accessed the database.
Bad actors could easily target victims with a variety of illegal schemes including:
• Targeted phishing attacks that can result in monetary loss and identity theft of Maropost’s clients
• A surge of spam and malspam that can hit customer’s Inboxes
• Blackmailing clients using marketing lists as leverage
• Brute-force attacks on email passwords to gain access to accounts
While email addresses might not seems as important as financial information and social security numbers, every data breach or leak taints the CV of any organization. If customers can become prime targets for cyber criminals, companies can endure serious consequences ranging from damaged reputations, lawsuits and decline in customers.