On the 7th of July, the second-largest telecom operator of Poland, Netia, has confirmed that attackers hijacked its website. The hackers have been able to access two forms that are used by the customers for service and contact purposes. The hack is believed to have affected some 300,000 customers as a direct result of exposed private information.
After the attack, the attackers opened a new Twitter account impersonating themselves as the Ukrainian political party Pravy Sector where they claimed responsibility for the attacks, and some 14 GBs of data was also posted over the internet carrying personal information of the users.
Netia said no personal information of the users was compromised. However, one other Netia spokesperson did contradict that, admitting that the attackers gained access to private user data that includes names and bank account numbers.
Further analysis showed customer data, sales records and bank transactions leaked
Further analysis of the data carried out by Hacked-DB, which is an Israeli cybersecurity firm, concluded that the hack is in fact far worse than what was previously believed. The leaked database contains full names, IP address and home addresses of the users while some other data also included information about sales records and affiliate marketing information.
As a countermeasure to such attacks, Netia said that it has now incorporated added protection to user data and has also reported the incident to the respective authorities. Netia has also assembled a team of internal and external specialists to find out how exactly the breach was carried out by the attackers.
Pay attention to securing your web forms
It is believed that the hack was performed by exploiting a vulnerability in the web-forms which are submitted in plain text formats and unencrypted as well. Thus, opening a pathway for the hackers which directly leads to the sensitive user data when the hacker penetrate the SQL database using the session identifiers.
Most organizations are working on a fix for that and planning to encrypt the user data. That being said, web forms often slip under the radar, despite the fact they are used to share sensitive information related to the user.
The hackers are constantly looking to explore weak points which are easy to exploit, and the web forms just make their task easier. For that reason, businesses that uses web forms as a means of information sharing, need to ensure that adequate level of security is applied to the web forms as well. Otherwise, hacking incidents of such nature are only likely to escalate in future.
If you’re in Poland and want to add another layer of security, don’t forget to check our top picks of VPNs for Polond.