Expert insight: Ethical hackers find 350 million exposed email addresses

White hat hackers CyberNews recently discovered 350 million exposed email addresses on an unsecured server which were likely to have either been stolen or acquired back in October 2018.  This unsecured bucket of data was hosted on an Amazon S3 server and exposed for around 18 months in total before Amazon shut it down in June. CyberNews says it’s unclear if malicious actors accessed the data, however, anyone who knew it was there could have downloaded the files.


EXPERTS COMMENTS
Joe Moles, vice president of customer security operations,  Red Canary
August 13, 2020
Simply put: better security through better IT.
Unsecured servers containing databases with large swaths of email addresses can be a tremendous resource for any adversary, whether they’re conducting an indiscriminate spam campaign or a targeted spear-phishing attack. While there isn't any indication that these email addresses were ever exposed to an adversary, organizations can protect themselves from possible threats by shoring up email filt ....
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Casey Kraus, President of Cloud Security Management Provider,  Senserva
August 13, 2020
This is another example of a cyber security gap despite the increased investment in security.
This breach is somewhat different than those in recent news. There has been a good number of stories on how bad actors infiltrate environments by exploiting misconfigured user accounts. Here with the Amazon S3 bucket, this was misconfiguration on AWS Server itself. This is another example of a cyber security gap despite the increased investment in security. The technology is outpacing the abilit ....
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Lamar Bailey, Senior Director of Security Research,  Tripwire
August 13, 2020
Monitor those configurations for change to ensure the data isn’t exposed in the future.
Leaving an AWS S3 storage bucket open to the public is essentially the same as leaving a database open on the Internet. Organisations put in place basic protections for databases of sensitive data, and they need to do the same with data stored on AWS. Criminals have now had years to develop tools to find these open repositories of monetizable data, so the likelihood of real damage exists now more ....
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Tim Mackey, Principal Security Strategist,  Synopsys CyRC
August 13, 2020
Proper configuration of any cloud service means configuring components.
Cloud storage solutions are convenient and cost-effective, but we must not forget that proper configuration of any cloud service means configuring components, like S3 buckets, securely. Securely in this context implies that a review of the security requirements for the data stored, but also ensures that regulations like the Privacy Act 2020 are respected. If an organisation is struggling to unders ....
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Martin Jartelius, CSO ,  Outpost24
August 13, 2020
The main risk here is that the individuals concerned will receive more unwanted emails.
It is important to differentiate between signal and noise when it comes to alerts. The fact that you have an email, and what that email is, is something that you continually share when using the Internet. This is also the reason you receive substantial amounts of spam and direct marketing. Comparing this to for example the Yahoo breach where we are talking about accounts, leading to potential cred ....
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