Social Media Aggregator Left Profiles of 48 Million Users Unsecured


A social media data aggregator firm LocalBlox has left the details of over 48 million users on a misconfigured Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 bucket, available for anyonw who stops by it. 
According to an April 18 blog post, UpGuard Cyber Risk Team researchers identified the exposed data which includes users name, physical addresses, job histories, and dates of birth across the various social media platforms. 

The company reportedly creates profiles of individuals using information from different publicly accessible sources, like social network profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Zillow to blend all the personal data into larger data pools. 

 Chief technology officer of LocalBlox Ashfaq Rahman describes this process as creating transformative intelligence by joining bits and pieces together. But researchers said that it appears like the company was tracking an IP address, and then matching it with the collected data.

“Also, of interest are exposed source fields, providing some indication of where the scraps of data were collected from,” researchers said in the post. “Some are fairly unambiguous, pointing to aggregated content, purchased marketing databases, or even information caches sold by payday loan operators to businesses seeking marketing data.”

The Amazon storage bucket was discovered on February 18th, 2018  and the collected data was stored in an unsecured and unlisted Amazon S3 container, which contained one 151.3 GB compressed file, which, when decompressed found to have 1.2 terabytes of storage. 

“The data collected includes names and physical addresses, and employment information and job histories data scraped from Facebook and LinkedIn profiles — like dates of birth and other public profile data, and Twitter handles,” ZDNet reported. 

However, Rahman has claimed UpGuard "hacked" into its S3 bucket, said that most of the data was "fabricated" and used for internal testing only.