Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

Data Leak Exposes Dow Jones Watchlist Database

The Watchlist, which contained the identities of government officials, politicians, and people of political interest, is used to identify risk when researching someone.



A data leak from an unsecured Elasticsearch server has exposed the Dow Jones Watchlist database, which contains information on high-risk individuals and was left on a server sans password.

Watchlist is used by major global financial institutions to identify risk while researching individuals. It helps detect instances of crime, such as money laundering and illegal payments, by providing data on public figures. Watchlist has global coverage of senior political figures, national and international government sanction lists, people linked to or convicted of high-profile crime, and profile notes from Dow Jones citing federal agencies and law enforcement. 

The leak was discovered by security researcher Bob Diachenko, who found a copy of the Watchlist on a public Elasticsearch cluster sized 4.4GB. The database exposed 2.4 million records and was publicly available to anyone who knew where to find it – for example, with an Internet of Things (IoT) search engine, he explained in a blog post.

It's important to note that data in the database, which has since been taken down, originated from public sources. Watchlist collects licensed and available news from publications around the world; a research team provides updates on listed individuals' names and relations.

While it is public data, Diachenko warned that exposing Watchlist "could be reckless" given the nature of information it contains and the people included in it.

This isn't the first time a misconfigured cloud server has put Dow Jones data at risk. In July 2017, a data leak exposed personal information of millions of customers. The culprit? An Amazon Web Services S3 bucket set to let any AWS Authenticated User download its data.

Read more details on the Watchlist leak here.

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2019 | 2:13:53 PM
S3 again
Geez... ANOTHER data leak on the open cloud! How many years now have we been seeing these headlines?

All the more galling because (1) you generally have to set such things to be public yourself, and (2) this apparently isn't the first time DJ's done this.

Geez...
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2019 | 7:14:20 PM
Re: S3 again
Yup, and we are going to see this more and more on misconfigured S3 buckets. My advice, when Amazon provides the secure config they should make it so that any changes to their buckets that may decrease security have to be approved by amazon's security team on S3. Otherwise, you are going to continue to see clients of AWS willingly decreasing the S3 security posture because they aren't aware of how to accomplish the desired function without stripping it bare. 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2019 | 7:54:55 PM
Re: S3 again
@Ryan: Which would drain Amazon reseources and drive up the cost of services for the 90+% of cloud customers who are just fine (who in turn will have to drive up their costs to their customers).

At a certain point, trying to protect people against their own stupidity smacks against the law of diminishing returns.
kilroy71
50%
50%
kilroy71,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2019 | 9:58:11 PM
Time for AWS tp make an architectursl change
An open file share on an internal network would at most expose the data to employees. Make the same mistake in AWS and it is exposed to the entire internet. AWS S3 Buckets have their purpose, but they really should be hard segmented so that internal buckets are internal only and cannot be public and external buckets are really that -external.

People are going to continue to make mistakes. Time to modify the architecture so that the mistskes are less disasterous.
Kelly White
50%
50%
Kelly White,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2019 | 10:24:04 PM
Time for AWS to make a much needed architectural change to S3
AWS S3 is inherently dangerous. No safety mechanisms built in. Make one mistake and your data is exposed to the internet. It is like driving a car with no seat belts, no airbags, and no crumple zone. Make a single mistake and you will be seriously or even die. That is AWS S3. 

Time for AWS to make completely segmented buckets. Provide internal buckets that are only internal -  no config change can make them external.  And provide external buckets that are external only.  People are going to keep making mistakes. Make this simple change  so that the mistakes aren't so catastrophic.  
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
3/1/2019 | 8:46:53 AM
Re: Time for AWS to make a much needed architectural change to S3
In simple view - gee, no password?  Security genius at work - guess makes life easy doesn't it. 
7 Truths About BEC Scams
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  6/13/2019
DNS Firewalls Could Prevent Billions in Losses to Cybercrime
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/13/2019
10 Notable Security Acquisitions of 2019 (So Far)
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12865
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-17
In radare2 through 3.5.1, cmd_mount in libr/core/cmd_mount.c has a double free for the ms command.
CVE-2017-10720
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-17
Recently it was discovered as a part of the research on IoT devices in the most recent firmware for Shekar Endoscope that the desktop application used to connect to the device suffers from a stack overflow if more than 26 characters are passed to it as the Wi-Fi name. This application is installed o...
CVE-2017-10721
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-17
Recently it was discovered as a part of the research on IoT devices in the most recent firmware for Shekar Endoscope that the device has Telnet functionality enabled by default. This device acts as an Endoscope camera that allows its users to use it in various industrial systems and settings, car ga...
CVE-2017-10722
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-17
Recently it was discovered as a part of the research on IoT devices in the most recent firmware for Shekar Endoscope that the desktop application used to connect to the device suffers from a stack overflow if more than 26 characters are passed to it as the Wi-Fi password. This application is install...
CVE-2017-10723
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-17
Recently it was discovered as a part of the research on IoT devices in the most recent firmware for Shekar Endoscope that an attacker connected to the device Wi-Fi SSID can exploit a memory corruption issue and execute remote code on the device. This device acts as an Endoscope camera that allows it...