If you recently made a purchase from an overseas online store selling knockoff clothes and goods, there’s a chance your credit card number and personal information were exposed.
Since January 6, a database containing hundreds of thousands of unencrypted credit card numbers and corresponding cardholders’ information was spilling onto the open web. At the time it was pulled offline on Tuesday, the particular database had about 330, 000 credit score card figures, cardholder names, and full billing addresses — plus rising in real-time as customers placed new orders. The data contained all the information that a criminal would need to make fraudulent transactions and purchases using a cardholder’s information.
The bank card numbers belong to customers who produced purchases through a network of near-identical online stores claiming to sell designer goods and apparel. But the stores experienced the same security problem in common: Any time a customer made a purchase, their credit card data plus billing info was saved in a database, which was left exposed to the internet without a password. Anyone who knew the particular IP address of the database could access reams of unencrypted financial information.
Anurag Sen , a good-faith security researcher, found the particular exposed credit card records and asked TechCrunch for help within reporting it to its owner. Sen has a respectable track record of scanning the internet looking for uncovered servers and inadvertently published data, plus reporting this to companies to get their systems secured.
But in this case, Sen wasn’t the first person to discover the dripping data. According to a ransom note left behind on the exposed database, someone else got found the particular spilling data and, instead of trying to identify the owner and responsibly reporting the spill, the particular unnamed person instead claimed to have taken the copy associated with the entire database’s contents of charge card data and would return it in exchange for a small sum of cryptocurrency.
A review of the data by TechCrunch shows most of the credit cards numbers are owned by cardholders in the United States. Several people we contacted confirmed that their own exposed credit card data was accurate.
TechCrunch has identified several online stores whose customers’ information has been exposed by the leaky data source. Many of the shops claim in order to operate out of Hong Kong. Some associated with the stores are designed to sound similar to big-name brands, like Sprayground, but whose websites possess no discernible contact info, typos plus spelling mistakes, and the conspicuous lack of customer reviews. Internet records also show the websites were set up in the past few weeks.
Some of these websites include:
If you bought something from one of those sites in the past few weeks, you might want to consider your banking card compromised and contact your bank or credit card provider.
It’s not clear who is responsible for this particular network of knockoff stores. TechCrunch contacted a person via WhatsApp in whose Singapore-registered phone number had been listed as the point associated with contact upon several of the online shops. It’s not obvious if the get in touch with number listed is even involved with the particular stores, given one of the websites listed the location because a Chick-fil-A restaurant within Houston, Texas.
Internet information showed that the database was operated by a customer associated with Tencent, whose cloud services were used to host the database. TechCrunch contacted Tencent about its customer’s database leaking bank card information, and the company responded quickly. The particular customer’s data source went offline a short time later.
“When all of us learned of the incident, we all immediately approached the client who operates the database and it was shut down immediately. Data privacy and security are usually top priorities at Tencent. We will continue to work with our customers to ensure they maintain their databases in a safe and secure manner, ” said Carrie Fan, global communications director at Tencent.