Home Security More than 150Gb of manufacturing data found exposed on Web

Documents belonging to more than 100 manufacturing companies were exposed on a publicly accessible server belonging to Level One Robotics, "an engineering service provider specialised in automation process and assembly for OEMs, Tier 1 automotive suppliers as well as our end users", the security firm UpGuard says.

Among the companies whose data was exposed were divisions of Volkswagen, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Tesla and ThyssenKrupp.

UpGuard said in a blog post: "The 157 gigabytes of exposed data include over 10 years of assembly line schematics, factory floor plans and layouts, robotic configurations and documentation, ID badge request forms, VPN access request forms, and ironically, non-disclosure agreements, detailing the sensitivity of the exposed information."

There was no indication that any of the data had been accessed by third parties.

The data was exposed through the improper use of rsync, a common file transfer protocol used to mirror or back up large datasets. The rsync server was not restricted by IP or user and any rsync client that connected to the rysnc port could download the data.

The data was found on 1 July and after Level One was informed on 9 July, the site was secured the following day.

The exposed data was roughly of three kinds:

  • Customer data – Assembly line and factory schematics; non-disclosure agreements; robotic configurations, specifications, animations, and blueprints; ID badge and VPN access request forms; customer contact information.
  • Employee data – Driver’s license and passport scans, ID photos (likely for badges); employee names and ID numbers.
  • Level One data – Contracts, invoices, price negotiations and scopes of work, customer agreements.

"Permissions set on the rsync server at the time of the discovery indicated that the server was publicly writable, meaning that someone could potentially have altered the documents there, for example replacing bank account numbers in direct deposit instructions, or embedding malware," UpGuard said.

In the past, UpGuard has found data from an insurance firm exposed in an unsecured NAS device. It has also found misconfigured Amazon Web Services S3 buckets leaking data from Paris-based brand marketing company Octoly, 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, a contractor for the US National Republican Committee, and data relating to a number of subsidiaries of Blue Chair, a holding company in Kansas City.

But late in February, UpGuard had to rework a report on what it claimed was a cloud-based data storage repository, that was used by business analytics software provider Birst and left unsecured.

It said 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. An updated version of its post was issued in March.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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