Million password resets and 2FA codes exposed in unsecured Vovox DB

Pierluigi Paganini November 17, 2018

Million of password resets and two-factor authentication codes exposed in unsecured Vovox DB.

Sébastien Kaul, a security researcher based in Berlin, has discovered a poorly secured database owned by communication firm Vovox that contained left names, phone numbers, tens of millions of SMS messages, temporary passwords, two-factor codes, shipping alerts, and other information belonging to customers of companies including Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

It has been estimated that the exposed archive included at least 26 million text messages year-to-date.

“Although Kaul found the exposed server on Shodan, a search engine for publicly available devices and databases, it was also attached to one of Voxox’s own subdomains.reported Techcrunch.

“Worse, the database — running on Amazon’s Elasticsearch — was configured with a Kibana front-end, making the data within easily readable, browsable and searchable for names, cell numbers and the contents of the text messages themselves.”

Vovox data leak

Vovox promptly took down the database after TechCrunch informed the company with an inquiry.

Anyone that accessed to the database while it was exposed online could have obtained two-factor codes sent by users to access their accounts potentially exposing them to account take over.

Below TechCrunch’s findings from a cursory review of the data:

  • We found a password sent in plaintext to a Los Angeles phone number by dating app Badoo;
  • Several partners were sent their six-digit two-factor codes to log in to the company’s extranet corporate network;
  • Fidelity Investments also sent six-digit security codes to one Chicago Loop area code;
  • Many messages included two-factor verification codes for Google accounts in Latin America;
  • A Mountain View, Calif.-based credit union, the First Tech Federal Credit Union, also sent a temporary banking password in plaintext to a Nebraska number;
  • We found a shipping notification text sent by Amazon with a link, which opened up Amazon’s delivery tracking page, including the UPS tracking number, en route to its destination in Florida;
  • Messenger apps KakaoTalk and Viber, and quiz app HQ Trivia use the service to verify user phone numbers;
  • We also found messages that contained Microsoft’s account password reset codes and Huawei ID verification codes;
  • Yahoo also used the service to send some account keys by text message;
  • And, several small to mid-size hospitals and medical facilities sent reminders to patients about their upcoming appointments, and in some cases, billing inquiries.

Kevin Hertz, Voxox’s co-founder and chief technology officer, wrote in an email that the company is “looking into the issue and following standard data breach policy at the moment,” and that the company is “evaluating impact.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Voxox, data leak)

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