Top 5 recent data breaches targeting US users

Data breach is happening every day, and it is increasing day by day. According to report published by Accenture, “In 2017, cyber-crime costs accelerated with organizations spending nearly 23 percent more than 2016 — on average about $11.7 million.”.

Today we come with top 5 Data breaches incidents that target US users.

U.S Custom and Border Protection Sub Contractor Breached, Traveler’s Photo and License plate get exposed – U.S Custom and Border protection has confirmed that photos of travelers and vehicles traveling in and out of the United States had been compromised by a malicious cyber-attack. Approximately 100,000 people were affected by this breach. U.S Custom and Border protection said that a subcontractor transferred the photos to his network and later those photos are stolen through the malicious cyber-attack. We still don’t know about the contractor, as U.S. Custom and Border Protection agency have not named the contractor. U.S. Custom and Border Protection agency first noticed the security incident on May 31. U.S. Custom and Border Protection agency has confirmed that “No passport or other travel document photographs were compromised and no images of airline passengers from the air entry/exit process were involved,”

Nearly 1.5 Million Donors, patients data exposed by University of Chicago Medicine – On 28th May , 2019 researcher Bob Diachenko from Security Discovery found a misconfigured and unprotected Elasticsearch database owned by University of Chicago Medicine left open over the internet. Nearly 1.5 Millions of donors and patients were exposed by this security incident. Bob Diachenko found an ElasticSearch cluster named “data-ucmbsd2” which was 34 GB in size. This ElasticSearch cluster contained 1,679,993 records, and anyone can access this data. The exposed Elasticsearch database contained the  following information of the donors and patients.

Full name
Full address
Phone number(s)
Marital status
Wealth info and current status
Communication notes etc.

Bob Diachenko contacted University of Chicago, and they secured the Elasticsearch database within 48 hours. University of Chicago wrote the following statements to Bob Diachenko

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention in a way that allowed us to secure the affected database, prevent unauthorized use or disclosure, and protect our systems and information. As we learn more from our ongoing investigation, we will comply with our responsibilities under all applicable laws and regulations”

Pyramid Hotel Group hacked, Exposed 85 GB in Security logs of major hotels – Researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar from vpnMentor found an unprotected Elasticsearch database that exposed the security logs of Pyramid Hotel Group. The database included hotel locks, in-room safes and physical security management equipment. The database exposed approximately 85 GB of security logs of major hotels including Marriott locations, Sheraton hotels, and Hilton Hotel properties. Multiple hotels from US, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Ireland, and the UK were affected by this security incident. The breached hotels were managed by Pyramid Hotel Group. Impacted hotels by this security incident were Marriott locations, Sheraton hotels, Plaza resorts, Hilton Hotel properties, as well as a number of independent hotels. The security researchers notified Pyramid Hotel Group about this incident on 28 May, 2019. On 29 May, 2019 the company secured the database.

The security researchers wrote the following statements in their blog “This database gives any would-be attacker the ability to monitor the hotels’ network, gather valuable information about administrators and other users, and build an attack vector targeting the weakest links in the security chain, “

Chines Dating Apps are targeting US customers, Exposed 42 Million Customers data – Researcher Jeremiah fowler from Security Discovery, on 25th May , 2019 found an unprotected ElasticSearch database. The ElasticSearch database was of Chinese Dating Apps. Researcher found that most of the data included in the database were of American Users based on their IP and geo location. Researcher also noticed Chinese text inside the database. Researcher found that data contained in the database was from multiple dating apps. They all were storing their data on this single Elasticsearch database.

Amazingco breached, exposed 212,220 users data online – On 11th May, 2019 a security researcher found a non-password protected Elasticsearch database left open over the internet. The company in question is Amazingco, which is Australia based, but they also offer their services in New Zealand and USA. Researcher found that 212,220 records were exposed. The exposed data contained user names, emails, phone numbers, internal notes, and other sensitive details. On 13th May researcher notified Amazingco, and researcher got confirmed that the database was closed and no longer publicly accessible.

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