World: 'Hundreds of millions of people' may have had their text messages exposed online, researchers say - - PressFrom - Australia

World 'Hundreds of millions of people' may have had their text messages exposed online, researchers say

22:55  01 december  2019
22:55  01 december  2019 Source:

1.2 billion records exposed in unsecured database

  1.2 billion records exposed in unsecured database The information includes names, job titles, email addresses, phone numbers and locations."In October 2019, security researchers Vinny Troia and Bob Diachenko identified an unprotected Elasticsearch server," according to the email. "The exposed data included an index indicating it was sourced from data enrichment company People Data Labs and contained 622 million unique email addresses.

a person standing in front of a fence: Texting© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Texting

Some of your text messages may have been left exposed on the internet for the world to see.

A database housing millions of private SMS text messages was left open online for an extended period of time, a team of researchers at the online privacy company vpnMentor said Sunday. The Texas-based text messaging firm TrueDialog is thought to be responsible for the leak, the cybersecurity experts said.

The database contained access information to online medical services along with passwords and usernames to websites such as Google and Facebook.

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The researchers warn that "millions of Americans are at risk." The team was able to access the text messages because the logs were "completely unsecured and unencrypted," the team said in a blog post.

TrueDialog, which creates text messaging solutions for small and large businesses, has since taken the logs offline, the researchers said. TrueDialog uses texts to send marketing materials and urgent alerts to customers.

The company reaches 5 billion subscribers worldwide, the research team said.

"We contacted the company. We disclosed our findings and offered our expertise in helping them close the data leak and ensure nobody was exposed to risk," the researchers said. "The database has since been closed, but TrueDialog never replied to us."

ATO warns of tax return text message scam

  ATO warns of tax return text message scam A day before the tax return deadline hits, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has issued an urgent warning about a fake website asking users for their financial information. SMS messages are being sent to unwitting taxpayers reading: "Last warning updating your details".The message links to a replica of the myGov website, and users are asked to fill in various pieces of personal information, including their bank and credit card details.© ATO The ATO has warned of a new scam sent by text message. "Don't click any links even if the SMS looks convincing," a statement sent from the ATO reads.

USA TODAY reached out to TrueDialog for comment and details about the alleged leak.

The text message data in question was also examined by TechCrunch, which said the database contained detailed logs of messages sent by customers who used TrueDialog’s system. The leaked data included phone numbers, university finance applications, job alerts and other private information.

"The impact of this data leak can have a lasting impression for hundreds of millions of users. The available information can be sold to both marketers and spammers," the researchers said.

The personal information contained in the text messages could be an asset to scammers; it could also be used in blackmail schemes and lead to identity theft and fraud.

Northern Territory politician Sandra Nelson takes aim at social media trolls .
A Northern Territory politician who was told she "should be culled" and "fall in a fracking well and suffocate to death" decides to name and shame her social media trolls on the parliamentary record. Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson told NT Parliament she had been inundated with "personal attacks" over her performance since being elected in 2016."I'm often criticised by people in my own community for being soft [and] having my head buried in the sand," she told Parliament.

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