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Wanadooops! Flaw Reveals User Data

Indexing flaw in the systems of Europe's top broadband ISP reveals personal data of many UK customers

One of the U.K.'s top broadband Internet service providers is investigating a flaw that allowed attackers to harvest personal information about its users and post it on the Internet.

Users on a Wanadoo user bulletin board earlier this week reported a vulnerability in Wanadoo's account recovery system servers that lets any browser user pull down the name, user ID, password, email address, and Web space subdomain of many Wanadoo U.K. customers.

In a statement, Wanadoo confirmed that "a small number of links to files containing customer details have been posted on the Internet." The company said it has taken down the sensitive information and has alerted the customers involved to change their passwords. However, Wanadoo hasn't yet fixed the problem: "An investigation is currently taking place to uncover how this happened and ensure that this does not happen again," the statement said.

According to "Gammarays," an anonymous user who posted the vulnerability, Wanadoo incorrectly configured its account recovery Web servers, allowing the user to view the contents of an entire folder instead of a single index page. A criminal could use the flaw to collect all the names in the folder and/or take control of the affected users' accounts.

Another anonymous user on the bulletin board said he tried the exploit, and was able to view, more than 20,000 Wanadoo customer records. He succeeded in downloading 6,896 of the records, even after Wanadoo said it had taken down the information.

User group postings indicate that the flaw could be up to two years old, but it apparently had not been reported to Wanadoo until this week.

A Wanadoo spokesman declined to answer questions about the details of the vulnerability, but he confirmed that the data leak was limited to Wanadoo UK, which supports some 2,025,000 customers. Wanadoo SA, Wanadoo UK's parent company and a part of France Telecom, is Europe's top broadband service provider with more than 8 million customers.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Organizations mentioned in this story

  • France Telecom SA (NYSE: FTE)
  • Wanadoo SA
  • Wanadoo UK

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