Snafu Leaves 14 Million Verizon Subscribers Personal Information Unprotected

SAN FRANCISCO – More than 14 million records of Verizon subscribers who called the phone giant’s customer services in the past six months were found on an unprotected Amazon storage server controlled by an employee of Nice Systems, a Ra’anana, Israel-based tech company. Verizon has a base of 113.9 million total customers.

The data was downloadable by anyone who knew where to look. Verizon said it’s investigating the matter.

Chris Vickery, director of cyberrisk research at security firm UpGuard, who found the data, privately told Verizon of the exposure shortly after it was discovered in late June.

Each record included a customer’s name, cell phone number and account PIN — which, if obtained, would grant access to a subscriber’s account, according to a Verizon customer service representative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the rep wasn’t authorized to speak to the press.

Several security experts briefed on the data leak warned of phone hijacking and account takeovers, which could allow hackers to break into a Verizon subscriber’s email and social media accounts, even those protected by two-factor authentication.

Perhaps its time to update your account PIN?