Personal Data of 1.3 Million Shoppers Exposed by Walmart Partner
According to cybersecurity firm Kromtech, who found it stored in a publicly accessible Amazon S3 bucket.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 20, 2018
The personal data of over 1.3 million people across the United States and Canada were publicly exposed online by Walmart's jewelry partner, according to cybersecurity firm Kromtech, who found it stored in a publicly accessible Amazon S3 bucket.
Researchers first assumed the Amazon web server belonged to Walmart, since the storage bucket was named, "walmartsql." However, they later uncovered the databased actually belonged to a Chicago-based firm called MBM Company Inc., which primarily operates under the name Limogés Jewelry.
According to Kromtech, the database was left exposed online since Jan. 13 2018, and included names, addresses, zip codes, phone numbers, email addresses, and plaintext passwords for 1,314,193 people.
It also contained numerous records for retailers other than Walmart. Over the years, Limogés Jewelry has done business with retailers such as Amazon, Overstock, Sears, Kmart and Target, among others.
Kromtech researchers also found internal MBM mailing lists, payment details, promo codes, item orders, as well as encrypted credit card details. The records exposed dated as far back as 2000 and extended to early 2018. Researchers believe this may have been MBM Company's main customer database.
“In more than one case, the sensitive data has been exposed by a partner or third party. Organizations need to not only take steps to secure sensitive data in their possession, but also as it’s handed off to these partners," Tim Erlin, VP, product management and strategy at cybersecurity firm Tripwire said. "Protecting customer data from this type of exposure doesn’t require amazing new security tools. Ensuring that systems are secure when deployed and monitoring them for changes is part of doing the basics right. Those security basics apply as much to the cloud as the data center.”
Fortunately, shortly after the exposed data was found the publicly accessible database was "quietly" secured by Walmart. Kromtech found no evidence of ransom notes, but that doesn't mean no one accessed the data.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.