UPDATED 20:37 EST / OCTOBER 18 2020


VOIP provider Broadvoice exposes 350M customer records on Elasticsearch cluster

A database of more than 350 million customer records belonging to voice over-internet-protocol company Broadvoice has been found exposed online in the latest case of a company failing to secure its cloud storage.

Discovered and publicized Oct. 15 by security researcher Bob Diachenko at Comparitech, the data was found on an unprotected Elasticsearch cluster. The data included caller names, phone numbers and locations along with hundreds of thousands of voice mails, many said to involve sensitive information such as medical and financial details.

Broadvoice has confirmed the data breach, saying the data was inadvertently exposed on Sept. 28. After the company was informed of the exposure Oct. 1, the data was then secured the following day. Along with the usual tick box list of standard responses — investigation launched, alerting authorities, employing a third-party forensics firm and so on — Broadvoice said it has no reason to believe there was any misuse of the data.

Founded in 2006, Broadvoice provides VOIP services to a range of companies in the U.S., and that’s what complicates the data exposure. The company has thousands of customers, all of which may have at the very least had their data exposed but in the worse case may have had their customer data stolen.

“A database left open without any authentication required for access is a surefire way for cybercriminals to obtain sensitive data,” Keith Neilson, technical evangelist at cloud governance firm CloudSphere, told SiliconANGLE. “Fraudsters can leverage details in the 350 million exposed records to impersonate customers and launch targeted attacks like spear-phishing campaigns to gain additional resources. It’s critical for enterprises to adopt tools that provide full visibility of cloud environments to ensure data stays secure.”

Anurag Kahol, chief technology officer at Bitglass, noted that Gartner forecasts global information security spending to reach $123 billion this year, yet organizations continue to be plagued by easily preventable security failures — “such as leaving a database with millions of patients’ personal data exposed without any authentication controls in place.”

Photo: Broadvoice

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