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Hacker Compromises Data of 106 Million Capital One Customers

What Happened?

Tech worker Paige A. Thompson has been charged with computer fraud for compromising the data of 106 million Capital One customers.

Thompson took advantage of a firewall misconfiguration to access data stored in a Capital One cloud server.

The cloud provider was confirmed as Amazon Web Services. Thompson was also revealed to be a former Amazon Web Services employee.

Source: SoftwareReviews Amazon Web Services Scorecard, accessed August 14, 2019

Our Take

In their statement, Capital One said that “this type of vulnerability is not specific to the cloud.” What this means is that the data breach had nothing to do with security vulnerabilities of Amazon Web Services itself. The problem instead lay with a misconfigured firewall internal to Capital One.

Indeed, the relevant takeaway from this story is probably not to do with the security of Amazon Web Services. It is instead to do with why Capital One’s own Cloud Custodian – an open source governance, security, and compliance engine for cloud services – overlooked this firewall misconfiguration.

As always, clients should ensure that data stored anywhere (either in the cloud or otherwise) is protected by secure firewalls. Info-Tech’s security blueprints offer effective strategies to ensure clients can appropriately select and implement firewalls, alongside specific information on cloud security.

Source: Info-Tech Research Group Ensure Cloud Security in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS Environments

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Amazon Web Services Scorecard

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