Verizon says no customer data lost in reported breach

Posted July 14, 2017

The security ballsup, discovered by UpGuard, involved technology supplier Nice Systems, which left Verizon customer data unprotected on an Amazon Web Services S3 storage instance.

"Unfortunately, the vendor's employee incorrectly set their AWS storage to allow external access.".The phone giant said that the "overwhelming majority of information in the data set has no external value".

Verizon told ZDNet that it believes no one actually accessed the data, and the data didn't contain truly sensitive information like social security numbers or bank accounts, but it's a wake-up call to anyone using cloud storage.

The major telecom company Verizon has suffered a data breach that affects over 14 million United States customer.

Verizon said that its partner Nice Systems was supporting an initiative created to improve a call centre portal, which is why it had access to such sensitive customer data.

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The 3rd party vendor who exposed the data was Nice Systems, a company that Verizon and a whole bunch of other Fortune 100 companies work with. "A customer knows they are giving their information to Verizon, but they are probably not aware that information is going to be shared with third party vendors". The data includes names, phone numbers, and account PIN codes for the customers.

The security firm said that 14 million subscribers were affected, about 10 percent of Verizon's 108 million total subscribers. Each record in the log files contained customer data such as name, cell phone number, account PIN, email address, home address, Verizon services subscribed to, current account balance, federal government account number, frustration score, and hundreds of such other fields.

Chris Vickery, a known security researcher who is now working with the security firm UpGuard, first noticed this data on June 13. Vickery also discovered earlier this year that some information of almost 200 million voters was exposed by a data firm working for Republican Party clients.

It added that it notified Verizon of the breach on June 13, but the "ultimate closure" of the breach only occurred on June 22.

"NICE Systems is a trusted Verizon partner, but one that few Americans may realize has any access to their data". Verizon later confirmed the security breach, saying that it it was due to "human error" associated with a cloud server.