All that the site says is, "This post is currently unavailable. For any press inquiries, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org". It has had that legend since Thursday morning.
Dan Barnhardt, a spokesman for Infor, the parent company of Birst which provides analytics for Capital One, wrote to iTWire today and said that the original story was based on a false premise and requested its removal. Given that UpGuard has not backed up its claims, iTWire has taken down the original story.
Barnhardt said: "A Birst employee placed a copy of certain non-production components of the Birst software in a publicly-available S3 bucket to provide a prospective customer in the financial services industry non-production, read-only access to the software (a proof-of-concept).
"Under Birst standard procedures, these software components should have been set up for distribution with authentication and access control enabled, but in this case was not.
"There was no 'data breach' or 'data leak' because at no time were any data, credentials, or configuration information from the financial institution compromised. Nevertheless, upon receiving notice in January, Birst immediately removed and disabled access to the Amazon S3 file.
"Because the premise of the article is based on factual inaccuracies, we ask that you remove it as UpGuard has done with the source blog post."
The UpGuard report claimed that Birst’s private encryption keys plus administrative credentials and passwords assigned by Birst to Capital One were found in the exposed S3 bucket.
In a statement to Gizmodo, Barnhardt confirmed that a Birst employee uploaded the software to the unsecured Amazon server.
UpGuard pulled its blog post from the Web soon after Capital One reacted to the original story on Thursday and said the claims were untrue.
iTWire's original story was based on UpGuard's claims; feedback sent by Capital One was incoporated into the story.
UpGuard was then contacted for comment but the company did not respond.
A second contact was initiated this morning but thus far (midday AEDT Friday) UpGuard has stayed silent. Capital One did not respond to a request for comment either.
UpGuard has released several similar breach reports before this, many of which iTWire has reported on. There has been no denial of any of these claims.
CURRENT STATE OF SECURITY RESEARCH:— Andrew Hay (@andrewsmhay) 28 February 2018
Step 1) Find exposed S3 bucket
Step 2) Create “research report”
Step 3) Disclose findings as if it were as important as the discovery of a cancer vaccine
Step 4) Get as much media attention as possible
Step 5) Sling your product
Step 6) Profit