An Unprotected MongoDB Database Exposed 809 Million Records

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An Unprotected MongoDB Database Exposed 809 Million Records

Wired broke the story last week that security researchers discovered’s (an email validation firm) unprotected, publicly accessible MongoDB database containing 150 gigabytes-worth of detailed, plaintext marketing data—including 763 million unique email addresses. The trove, as Wired reported, is not only massive but also unusual; it contained data about individual consumers as well as suspected “business intelligence data,” like employee and revenue figures from various organizations.

DivvyCloud’s Chris DeRamus (CTO) explains this recent leak in more depth
“The data exposed in this leak of nearly 809 million records is unique, and highly exploitable since it includes business intelligence data such as employee and revenue figures from various companies, as well as genders, user IP addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and more. If a bad actor were to discover this massive trove of data, they could easily validate the contact information for the users included launching a more focused phishing or brute force campaign.

We live in a world where data is king—collecting, storing and leveraging data is essential to running just about any business. All the more reason organizations must be diligent in protecting data with proper security controls. Automated cloud security solutions would have been able to detect the misconfiguration in the MongoDB database containing this information and could either alert the appropriate personnel to correct the issue or trigger automated remediation in real-time. These solutions are essential to enforce policy, reduce risk, provide governance, impose compliance and increase security across large-scale hybrid cloud infrastructure.”

What prevents companies from solving these cloud security problems?
Security and lack of visibility in governance and compliance are just symptoms of the problems organizations are facing. It’s a signal and noise problem. Over the last couple of years, the number of resources that enterprises are dealing with has grown exponentially. That’s relatively obvious regarding the new technologies, but what is often not realized is that two other things that have changed — the amount and types of people who are touching the infrastructure. Now you have a large number of resources and every engineer touching infrastructure to apply  real-time changes. Admins can’t see all of the problems, and they are losing control. Even if they CAN see all of the issues, they will suffer from alert fatigue as there is no way to keep up. Just knowing where your problem areas are doesn’t help. Simple truth – the rate of change and the dynamic nature of software-defined infrastructure has outstripped human capacity. We need to move towards a trust but verify approach.

Interested in learning more? Speak with a DivvyCloud expert today!

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from DivvyCloud authored by David Mundy. Read the original post at: