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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 09:01

Brand marketing firm's biz info exposed in Amazon S3 bucket

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A cloud repository used by Paris-based brand marketing company Octoly has been left exposed with a back-up of its business IT operations and information about its registered online personalities open to the world.

The Amazon Web Services S3 cloud storage bucket was wrongly configured for public access, according to security company UpGuard, and exposed contact information and personal details of more than 12,000 influential "creators".

These were largely Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube personalities supplied by Octoly with beauty products, merchandise, and gaming content from its clients, including Dior, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, and Blizzard Entertainment.

Real names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses — including those for use with PayPal — and birth dates for these creators, many of them otherwise anonymous in their online ventures, were exposed.

There were also thousands of hashed user passwords, which if decrypted, could lead to password re-use attacks against various online accounts belonging to creators, the usernames for which are also in the repository.

Highly detailed data analysis, customised for thousands of specific creators and brands, was also revealed, providing further insight into Octoly’s inner workings.

The find was made by UpGuard's director of Cyber Risk Research, Chris Vickery on 4 January. Octoly received multiple notifications about the breach before it removed the back-up from open access. The company did not secure the S3 bucket or remove any of the other exposed data for weeks after being informed about it.

There were details about users, clients and creators, the last-named being social media users who specialise in using and reviewing beauty products or playing and critiquing video games, typically in YouTube vlogs and Twitch streams, or via Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Included in the exposed data was a list of URLs of more than 12,000 public reports compiled by data analytics firm Deep Social. These reports had detailed information about each creator's online influence, "down to the ages, interests, and locations of followers, as well as which brands are most appealing to them. Such information constitutes Octoly’s bread and butter, and would be valuable corporate intelligence for any competing marketing firms".

In the past, UpGuard has found misconfigured Amazon Web Services S3 buckets leaking data from California data analytics firm Alteryx, credit repair service National Credit Federation, the NSA, the Pentagon, global corporate consulting and management firm Accenture, publisher Dow Jones, a Chicago voter database, a North Carolina security firm, and a contractor for the US National Republican Committee.

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Sam Varghese

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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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