Verizon confirmed Wednesday that data belonging to 6 million customers was leaked online in June. News of the incident was first reported by ZDNet.
In a statement on the company’s website, Verizon said the leak was caused by an employee of one of the company’s vendors who accidentally allowed external access to information put in a cloud storage area. ZDNet reported that the data was leaked on an unprotected Amazon S3 storage server. This made the data available to anyone who had the public link to the cloud. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey Bezos also owns The Washington Post.)
Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment.
A limited amount of personal information, such as some phone numbers and PINs, were included in the data, but it didn’t include Social Security numbers or voice recordings, Verizon said. The PIN numbers are used to authenticate a caller phoning into the wireline call center and can’t be used to access customer accounts online, the statement said.
No customer information was lost or stolen, because the storage area was accessible only to Verizon; the vendor, Israel-based NICE Systems; and the researcher who flagged the leak, according to the statement.
That researcher was Chris Vickery, who worked for the cyber-security firm UpGuard. Vickery also discovered earlier this year that some information of nearly 200 million voters was exposed by a data firm working for Republican Party clients. That information was also on an Amazon server.
According to CNN, Vickery privately alerted Verizon to the issue on June 13. The security hole was sealed June 22.
Although Verizon said that the PINs alone can’t help access…