SonyLIV Fixes leaky Elasticsearch in record time
Once again, a service owned and control by a division of official Sony Entertainment has slipped up. This time, their error exposed a elasticsearch server leaking log entries that feed into a third-party tool.
Sony is no stranger when it comes to reports of poor infosecurity and hacking incidents, but it is not often we hear of them slipping up and leaving their assets wide open for anyone to access without any login required. But that’s not the case for SonyLIV.
SonyLIV, based in india under setindia.net, is an official Sony Entertainment India website for streaming tv shows. An elasticsearch server that contained logs of user visits and actions across their Android and web applications exposed users’ IP addresses and GeoIP locations as well as other browser information. The server contained a total amount of 38,021,149 rows across 21 indices. Only 20 of the 21 indices contained data, with most indices having about 2M rows each for a combined total size of 8.37GB.
Attribution was easy with links to SonyLIV, remarks in the elastic to the application name being SonyLIV and then the fact the DNS for the IP address was set to sonyanalytics.recosenselabs.com. Recosenselabs.com, which operates out of India, conducts analytics services with elastic search as part of their analytic services.
Contacting and Alerting SonyLIV
The thought of contacting Sony triggered thoughts of being ignored or having massive difficulties reaching anyone who would do anything. The reality was quite the opposite. My first notification to them was made on December 15 at 3:04 am EST (Australia), and by 3:47 am, I had received an email back confirming that they had fixed the problem. So from alert to acknowledgement of notice and repair was only 45 minutes. I do not know if that is some kind of record, but if it’s not, it’s at least certainly impressive.
Thank you for writing to SonyLIV.
We appreciate your below email. We have highlighted the issue to our concerned team.
Hope this information is helpful.
Even though there were no critical personal data or account login information or credentials of any type, leaks like this pose a risk because they can expose how companies work internally and enable criminals to target infrastructure with more precision.
Either way, this is case is a great example to anybody else out there running any business of any type online or off: if you are contacted by a security expert and they cite or claim evidence of something wrong on your system, work with them to fix it. Some of us are often providing this service and these notifications for free with no desire to convert you to a client — we are only concerned with helping you secure your data and people’s information.
Research and reporting by Lee Johnstone. Editing by Dissent of DataBreaches.net.