Tuesday, 13 March 2018 09:50

UpGuard issues update, says Capital One security not affected

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Security firm UpGuard has published an updated version of its account of how a cloud-based data storage repository, used by business analytics software provider Birst, was left unsecured.

It had originally claimed that as a result, data about financial services firm Capital One had been exposed.

But Capital One contested these claims, as did Birst. UpGuard then took down its original post, while it discussed the matter with Capital One.

iTWire ran a story based on the original post, but when both Capital One and Birst contested the claims made therein, pointing out that UpGuard had itself removed the post, the story was taken down.

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When comment was sought from UpGuard at the time, the company did not respond, presumably because discussions with Capital One were ongoing.

"After consultation with Capital One’s legal team and technical teams, UpGuard was informed that Capital One’s system security was not impacted by this matter, and UpGuard has therefore updated its post," UpGuard said.

In its updated report, dated 8 March, UpGuard said it had discovered a cloud-based data storage repository attributed to Birst that had been left exposed to the public Internet, revealing technical data about a Birst appliance.

According to an earlier statement from Birst, "These components were not populated with data; no data from the financial institution was ever present in the test environment at any time, although the filename contained the name of the financial institution.

"There were no encryption keys contained in the appliance files posted as was erroneously reported. Rather, the file in question (client.key) is used to enable the Administration client within Birst's appliance to connect to the application server."

In its updated post, UpGuard noted that the client.key was an RSA private key.

It said that the unsecured bucket contained 50.4 GB of data across three distinct folders: “Birst Appliance 523,” “Birst Appliance 528,” and “Raw Time Tables.”

"The folder 'Birst Appliance 528' was uploaded on 13 November 2017, leaving these contents available for approximately two months until access was removed on 15 January following UpGuard’s notification," the company noted.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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