Third-Party Contractor Exposes Verizon Customer Data

Verizon security error leaves millions of customer records exposed

A third-party vendor for United States telecommunications carrier Verizon exposed the data of around 6 million customers on Wednesday, July 12.

NICE Systems technology is used in Verizon's back-office and call center operations. However, it was not until June 22 - more than a week later - that Verizon and NICE managed to close the breach.

In the RNC leak, UpGuard found an online repository of voter information left unsecured on Amazon Web Services' servers.

Verizon, which you might remember from sending you cellphone bills or from being sued by the city of NY for failing to install citywide FIOS cable by the end of 2014, is in hot water after millions of customer records were exposed by a third party vendor the telecom giant worked with. Verizon has disputed this number; according to a company spokesperson there were 6 million records in the data. The operator added that the number of subscriber accounts reported by ZDnet was overstated, and the actual number was around 6 million unique customers.

Verizon confirmed the security hole on Wednesday. UpGuard alerted Verizon of the setting on June 13.

Customer data, including phone numbers and PIN identifiers, were made vulnerable after a cyber attack on Verizon's cloud storage systems, according to CNN. There was six months worth of customer data that was exposed, though there is no indication that payment information was ever at risk-just names, numbers, and PIN codes used the confirm a customer's identity when calling in for support.

Verizon uses cloud services provided by Amazon in order to store their troves of customer information and data.

"This human error is not related to any of our products or our production environments nor their level of security, but rather to an isolated staging area with limited information for a specific project", it said.

"When an attacker has enough information about their target - gathered either through social engineering or from data breaches- they will contact the phone carrier and have the phone SIM card swapped to a new device". This could have then further given the attackers access to online services that were protected by SMS-based two-factor authentication. Hopefully nothing bad comes from this data exposure, but it sure would be nice if we could stop worrying these things after a leak or breach has already taken place.



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