Dell Data Breach: 49M Customer Records Exposed

In a data breach that has caused anxiety about security and privacy, Dell, a technology hardware giant, has admitted to its occurrence having affected 49 million customer records. The unsecured API linked to a partner portal allowed hackers to swipe a huge amount of information about customers from Dell’s database.

Dell Data Breach Customer Records: Source Daily Dark Web
Dell customer data on Breach Forums
Source: Daily Dark Web

Methodology of the Breach

The hacker, known as Menelik, shared his methodology with TechCrunch .

“Believe me or not, I kept doing this for nearly 3 weeks and Dell did not notice anything. Nearly 50 Million requests…After I thought I got enough data, I sent multiple emails to Dell and notified the vulnerability. It took them nearly a week to patch it all up,” Menelik said.

Dell on the other hand, responded with “Let’s keep in mind, this threat actor is a criminal and we have notified law enforcement.”

  • Exploiting Partner Accounts: The threat actor created multiple “partner” firms known by different names for multiple accounts thereby leading in access to sensitive customer records.
  • Scraping Customer Data: They stole huge amounts of client data directly from Dell’s servers including personal particulars and purchase information.
  • Persistence and Volume: For nearly three weeks, the perpetrator launched an unyielding onslaught of appeals that led to almost 50 million records.
  • Reporting:  They emailed Dell on April 12th and 14th to report the bug to Dell security team
Dell Data Breach Customer Records: Email to Dell from Menelik
Email sent to Dell about partner portal flaw
Source: Menelik

“Prior to receiving the threat actor’s email, Dell was already aware of and investigating the incident, implementing our response procedures and taking containment steps. We have also engaged a third-party forensics firm to investigate.”

Stolen Data Details

The exposed data has customer order data, including warranty information, service tags, names, locations, customer numbers, and order numbers.

The hacker, Menelik says the stolen customer records include the following hardware breakdown:

  • Monitors: 22,406,133
  • Alienware Notebooks: 447,315
  • Chromebooks: 198,713
  • Inspiron Notebooks: 11,257,567
  • Inspiron Desktops: 1,731,767
  • Latitude Laptops: 4,130,510 
  • Optiplex: 5,177,626
  • Poweredge: 783,575
  • Precision Desktops: 798,018
  • Precision Notebooks: 486,244
  • Vostro Notebooks: 148,087
  • Vostro Desktops: 37,427
  • Xps Notebooks: 1,045,302
  • XPS/Alienware desktops: 399,695

Mitigation Efforts

Incident response protocols were deployed by Dell, containment strategies were employed, and external forensic experts were contracted to investigate and fix vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

Dell has advised customers to remain vigilant at all times by reporting any suspicious activities associated with their accounts or purchases as soon as possible.

Dell Email to Customers

The 49 million customer purchase data between 2017-2024 looks like the perfect phishing bait. Anyone posing as dell representative can trick users into clicking links and being set up for credential theft.

We need to prevent a phishing incident like those that rocked Okta, Dropbox and Lastpass. It becomes imperative to fortify your organization with robust authentication methods. Embracing passwordless authentication could be precisely the solution needed. After all, if you don’t possess traditional credentials, they can’t be stolen, can they?

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Massive Data Breach: 125 Million Records Exposed Due to Firebase Misconfiguration

Securing Cloud Environments: Lessons from the Microsoft Azure Breach

Introduction

In the wake of the recent Microsoft Azure breach, it has become increasingly evident that organizations must prioritise enhancing their security posture to mitigate the risk of similar incidents in the future. This breach, attributed to compromised passwords & MFA manipulation, underscores the critical importance of implementing passwordless authentication solutions to strengthen overall security.

The Breach

The breach unfolded through a series of sophisticated maneuvers executed by cyber criminals to exploit weaknesses in Azure’s security framework. Initially, phishing emails targeted mid and senior-level executives, enticing them into disclosing their login credentials unwittingly. 

Armed with these credentials, attackers gained unauthorised access to Azure accounts, despite the presence of multi-factor authentication (MFA). By circumventing MFA and substituting victims’ MFA settings with their own, attackers maintained undetected access to Azure resources. 

They further obscured their identities using proxies, evading detection while seizing control of sensitive data and cloud resources.

This helps attackers bypass any poorly designed adaptive authentication solution relying on IP based access restriction or re-authentication.

How Microsoft Azure was Breached

The Lessons

  1. Phishing: Implement Phishing-Resistant Authentication Methods
    • Organisations must adopt phishing-resistant authentication methods to combat prevalent phishing attacks. Staff training alone may not suffice, necessitating solutions that minimise the risk of credential theft.
  2. Credential Theft: Go Passwordless
    • Enhanced credential security with multi-factor authentication is insufficient. Robust password management practices and adaptive MFA solutions have been and will continue to be breached unless you eliminate credentials altogether. Passwordless solutions are the optimal choice for enterprises, as they have been for quiet some time now. Both enterprises and individuals must recognise and adopt it as a standard practice.
  3. MFA Replacement: Implement Continuous Monitoring and Anomaly Detection
    • When you’re using credentials, it’s crucial to keep an eye on them. Continuous monitoring and anomaly detection play a vital role here. They help spot any unauthorised changes in MFA settings promptly, preventing any further access.
  4. Masking Location Using Proxies: Strengthen Adaptive Authentication Checks
    • Strengthening adaptive authentication checks is vital to detect suspicious activities like masked locations. Geo-location based authentication or behavioural biometrics can enhance authentication accuracy.
  5. Cloud Account Takeover: Implement Zero Trust Security Architecture
    • Implementing a Zero-trust security model is crucial to verify every access request, regardless of source or location. Granular access controls and continuous monitoring can mitigate the impact of cloud account takeovers.

Moving Forward

In the aftermath of this breach, organizations must prioritise fortifying their security posture to prevent similar incidents. While passwordless authentication solutions offer promising alternatives, organizations should also concentrate on strengthening existing security protocols, conducting regular security audits, and enhancing employee awareness to mitigate future threats effectively.

Conclusion

The breach of Microsoft Azure serves as a stark reminder of the imperative for proactive cybersecurity measures in safeguarding sensitive data and mitigating the risk of unauthorised access. 

By embracing passwordless authentication solutions and implementing a holistic security strategy, organizations can enhance their resilience against evolving cyber threats and safeguard their invaluable assets effectively.

Mother of all breaches: Which you could have avoided !!

Introduction

Don’t use passwords they said. It can be breached they said. Well, surprise, surprise, we didn’t pay much attention. Now, here we are, nervously checking our email IDs against the colossal 26 billion-record breach – the mother of all breaches!

Breach Unveiled: A Symphony of Chaos

So, there’s this massive breach, Mother of All Breaches (MOAB), a digital pandemonium that has exposed a whopping 26 billion records. It’s like a digital opera – records from MySpace to Adobe, starring Tencent, Weibo, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your data just had its grand debut!

The Dramatic Unfolding

Picture this: MOAB is a blockbuster compilation of data breaches, meticulously curated. It’s like a Hollywood blockbuster, but your credentials are the star, and not in a good way. Your once-secure passwords are now part of a hacker’s treasure trove. Slow clap for the password drama.

Passwords – The Ultimate Blunder

If  Ellen DeGeneres hosted this show, she’d say, “You had one job – say no to passwords!” See the aftermath? Identity theft, phishing attacks, and a surge in password-stuffing shenanigans. All thanks to those outdated, reused, and easy-to-crack passwords.

Passwordless Paradise: Where Dreams Come True

Now, imagine an alternate universe where you actually listened – where passwordless authentication is the superhero. No MOAB nightmares, just smooth, secure logins without the hassle of juggling countless passwords. A utopia, right?

Mitigation Party: Reclaim Your Digital Kingdom

Inspect Your Vulnerability: Employ tools such as “Have I Been Pwned” and data leak checker. data leak checker. Use “Privacy Hawk” to trace your data’s path and request removal from unwanted websites. Move swiftly: Purge your digital footprint by eliminating your data from irrelevant websites.

Conclusion: Lessons Learned (Hopefully)

In an ideal world, you’d have embraced passwordless authentication, and we’d all be sipping digital margaritas by now. But, alas, here we are – dealing with the aftermath. Take this as a digital wake-up call: passwords belong to the past, let’s march into a passwordless future.

A Final Plea: Break Free from Passwords

Passwords are so yesterday!! The revolution is calling – will you answer? Join the passwordless parade; your digital sanity will thank you later. Use PureId, Stay Safe.

MongoDB Security Incident: Navigating the Aftermath

Breach Chronicles: MongoDB’s Unsettling Security Saga Unfolds

On December 13, 2023, MongoDB, a prominent US-based open-source NoSQL database management system provider, faced a substantial security incident. This breach of MongoDB Atlas, a fully-managed cloud database, unfolded as unauthorised access infiltrated corporate systems, laying bare customer account metadata and contact information. The assailants employed a cunning phishing attack, exploiting support service applications. The consequences were dire – a trove of sensitive data, including customer names, phone numbers, and account details, left exposed in the turbulent aftermath of this cyber storm.

MongoDB Steps Explained

Intrusion Footprints: A List of IPs Disclosed

In a proactive move, MongoDB disclosed a comprehensive list of external IP addresses on their alerts page. These IPs were strategically employed by the unauthorised third party. Organisations are strongly advised to meticulously scrutinise their networks, diligently searching for any ominous signs of suspicious activity intricately linked to these disclosed IPs. If you spot these IPs, you’ve got unwelcome guests. Remember it’s time to act, and act fast.

MongoDB Breach

Phishing & Social Engineering – The Achilles’ Heel of Multi-Factor Authentication

MongoDB issues a resolute counsel to its user base, emphasising the critical need to bolster defences against the looming threats of social engineering and phishing. In response, the company advocates the implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA), urging users to promptly update their MongoDB Atlas passwords as an additional layer of security.

Phishing attacks or social engineering can bypass and disable all types of MFA solutions, as seen time and again. The security incident under discussion started with phishing attacks. So implementing MFA will have zero security advantage but will only increase the cost, efforts and complexity of authentication.

GoPasswordless – The best protection for MongoDB

Going passwordless with PureAUTH will benefit in 2 broad ways to protect MongoDB or any other enterprise applications –

  1. Secure Authentication – PureAUTH offers passwordless authentication which is secure from phishing & social engineering attacks.
  2. Resilience in case of data breach – If data from the database like MongoDB is leaked due to mis-configurations, 0-day vulnerability or insider attacks etc, the adversary will not find any passwords, MFA seeds, swap-able public keys, or any usable data to carry out unauthorised access elsewhere.

Conclusion

Amidst the gloom, MongoDB presents a silver lining: Passwordless Authentication. It’s a call to transcend traditional password reliance for a more secure future. Fortify your defences with passwordless security. MongoDB users, the future beckons. Embrace the resilience of passwordless authentication, reinforce your security posture with PureID, and navigate the cyber security landscape with renewed strength. Passwords? Pfft, that’s so yesterday. The journey continues—Passwordless Authentication awaits.

Password Managers are the Hot Targets 

Lastpass reported a security breach a month ago, which is the 8th security incident in the last 11 years. This incident was followed by a recent disclosure by a Google researcher. Many popular password managers like Dashlane, Bitwarden, and Safari can be phished.

There are many lessons that we all need to learn from these recurring incidents. This post is to uncover few points that we have seen have not been discussed by the info-sec community and the industry.

The Catch-22 – Phish or no Phish?

LastPass warned its users of an increased likelihood of Phishing attacks, Credential Stuffing, or other brute force attacks against online accounts associated with their LastPass vault.

Password Managers getting phished is an alarming situation

This statement goes against what all the password managers like LastPass claims – “use of password manager protects users from phishing attacks“.

In recent times there have been more incidents where password managers have been proved vulnerable to phishing attacks. You can find more details in this article Popular password managers auto-filled credentials on untrusted websites 

The Impact

In their blog post, Lastpass reported that customer’s personal information like email, phone number, billing address, IP address have been compromised. That is not all, what LastPass has not talked about is the additional information they collect from their users using their mobile app. 

The screenshots below show the permissions that Lastpass app takes on a user’s phone.

Permission take by LastPass app on an Android device

These permissions enable the application provider like LastPass (other password managers take similar types of permission on user’s device) to collect more information about the user than probably needed. 

User Information collected by LastPass app

In case of a breach, like what happened with LastPass, the severity of the incident and privacy impatc will be more if any additional information collected from the user’s phone is also leaked.

The Passwords

Furthermore, LastPass has reported that customer’s vault containing clear text data, such as website url, and encrypted data of username and password were also obtained by the threat actors. 

Lastpass emphasised on the use of master key, and how a threat actor can not decrypt the password vault even if they have the encrypted data, as the master key, which is a master password set by the user and is not stored on lastpass network. 

While 1Password, a rival firm of Lastpass, claims through their blog that passwords of LastPass can be cracked in $100. They also talk about their superior method of  using secret key and Password Authenticated Key Agreement systems, which makes 1Password’s systems next to impossible to crack. 

With the device specific keys mentioned by 1Password, we feel syncing of the passwords across multiple devices becomes a risky affair. Since passwords need to be decrypted on another device and it needs the user chosen master password as well as the secret key from the earlier device. This problem cannot be solved without exposing the secret key or the user’s passwords (encrypted just with the user chosen master password), in transit. 

Conclusion

After a series of events involving Password Management products, enterprise must seriously think about how safe their user’s data and passwords really are. 

Not to forget, server doesn’t care if the password is coming from a password vault or from an adversary, the server will authenticate as long as it can match the string. So no matter, how and where you store passwords, as long as there as passwords, Enterprises are always at risk.

For a better security, Enterprise must plan to remove passwords from their applications, servers and #GoPasswordless