IEEE Mistake Exposes Tens of Thousands of Member Names and Passwords
September 26, 2012 9:12 AM
No public acknowledgment of the leak offered
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reportedly made a massive mistake that left nearly 100,000 usernames and passwords of members of the organization exposed on a public server. A plain text list of username and password combinations was publicly available on a FTP server for over a month before being discovered. The plain text list was discovered last week by teaching assistant in the computer science department at the University of Copenhagen.
Considering the huge number of technology experts who are members of the IEEE and who work for the organization, this is a massive and hugely embarrassing security fault. The usernames and passwords of members weren't the only pieces of information exposed on the publicly accessible FTP site. In addition, over 100 GB of Web server log files from ieee.org and spectrum.ieee.org were publicly available because server administrators hadn't set access controls.
Those logs reportedly showed 376 million HTTP requests and 411,308 of those included both usernames and passwords.
reports that most of the compromised accounts belonged to employees at Apple, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Samsung. However, some of the user names and passwords exposed also belong to researchers from NASA, Stanford University, and other universities and organizations.
reports that the IEEE has yet to publicly admit the data was leaked and hasn't been returning calls for comment. Teaching assistant Radu Dragusin said, "One simple and stupid mistake: public access to logs. The other, more troublesome, keeping passwords in plain text, which seems to be more on how they architect their login system." He also noted that, "While the first issue [log files] is clearly solved, I doubt the second is."
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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