Earbits.com Leaks 325,000 User Credentials: Misconfigured Database

DataBreaches.net seems to have lost a source, but gained a resource. 🙂

Chris Vickery is now blogging his discoveries over on MacKeeper. His first post was about a misconfigured database leaking 325,000 Earbits users’ info as well as admin credentials:

We’re talking about everything from real names, email addresses, and SHA1 password hashes (with accompanying salts), to the secret access keys of Earbits’ Amazon S3 account.

Earbits responded to his notification promptly, as Chris explains here.

About the author: Dissent

3 comments to “Earbits.com Leaks 325,000 User Credentials: Misconfigured Database”

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  1. IA Eng - January 21, 2016

    My problem with these sot of posts is, you can point the crooks in the direction where juicy information exists. If the organization has corrected the issue, sure, post away. If the organization continues to ignore a researchers request, and they post their findings i if it has not attracted anyone to the issue so far, it might have a lot of activity if there are enough details given.

    With a domain name, it is not hard to figure out where to go to get the network mapping. From there a simple scan of the network and they have the same basic info the researcher has. Better yet, if they read any original postings on the website about how this data was discovered, newly hatched, wanna be crooks can make their way over to that same method and pull data.

    It’s a tough call what to report and how much. A scenario; a researcher finds some PII listed out in the www . They try contacting the organization and do not get a response over a few working days. The researcher decides to blog about the issue. A few days later a known organization smears the data over pastebin and the organization’s clients are now battered by phishing and spam campaign. Can the researcher be held accountable? The organization could claim it was investigating the issue and decided not to immediate respond to the incident. Then the organization slaps the researcher with a lawsuit saying revealing the information which was not in the public’s immediate view attributed to the eventual uncontrollable leaking of the data.

    I dunno. Its a very touchy / grey area. I think its better to inform a law enforcement agency about the issue so it can be documented. That way, if they eventually do have an issue, it’s now in the hands of the law and company.

    • Dissent - January 21, 2016

      Responsible disclosure is, indeed, a difficult issue. But let’s put the responsibility back where it really belongs – on the organization that collected the information and then failed to adequately secure it.

      If I notify an entity that they’ve got a problem, and they respond saying, “Thanks – we’re looking into it right now,” I’ll usually respond, “OK, let me know when you’ve got it secured and I’ll delay publication.”

      If, however, they don’t respond at all to multiple attempts to notify them, then what? We let them get away with it by not reporting that they have failed to respond to protect consumer info even after we tried to notify them? We allow them to escape bad press by ignoring a situation and leaving consumer info at risk? I don’t think so.

      What I’ve done in such cases in the past is to send one final notification to the entity that said, “I’m publishing this in 48 hours, so you’d better get it secured or offline.” And then I will publish. If I did not take that approach, I can think of a few sites that still wouldn’t be secured.

      In the near future, I will be opening a new/companion web site where researchers can log/report their attempts to notify entities and the entities didn’t respond. It will not reveal the type of issue, but only that a company was notified and didn’t respond.

      • IA Eng - January 21, 2016

        I understand, one can only hope they are reliable, responsive and learn from their mistakes. I hope these organizations truly mean ” we truly care about the security of your personal information”.

        It goes to show you that there isn’t much QA, or two parties or more used in the creation of PII specific databases. These places need to go on a watch list, to ensure the slip up isn’t re-created over a determined period of time.

        Now, I sit back and my immediate thought is, the IT technical field has got to be REALLY hurting if there are this many leaked issues out on the internet. These are the ones that we know about – I am sure there are other situation where many more glaring violations exist but aren’t seen by responsible parties.

        I personally don’t know if they would read the bad press about them. Heck, if the organization doesn’t respond to an email directly about the issue, they may not even venture out to read the email. It would take a third party that knows a good phone number, email or other lines of communication to get in touch with the offending organization. I don’t know if the odds of contacting the organization go up or down.

        In most of these cases, I can envision an owner of a website who dabbles in databases creates one by watching a series of videos or blog entries. The creation of the database is relatively simple, but they don’t fully understand the permission sets that need to go along with that file, or the location where it should be placed. More than likely these people don’t know how to connect to a local database, let alone know if the database service, like MySQL users with elevated privileges all have good strong passwords, including the root user when MySQL was installed. Most don’t bother to add a password to the MySQL root account, and that is a very bad thing.

        I am glad you did not take my comment out of context. I have been in the network security field well before 1999, and I have learned to accept “data” from both sides of the fence.

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