An online casino group has leaked information on over 108 million bets, including details about customers’ personal information, deposits, and withdrawals, ZDNet has learned.
The data leaked from an ElasticSearch server that was left exposed online without a password, Justin Paine, the security researcher who discovered the server, told ZDNet.
ElasticSearch is a portable, high-grade search engine that companies install to improve their web apps’ data indexing and search capabilities. Such servers are usually installed on internal networks and are not meant to be left exposed online, as they usually handle a company’s most sensitive information.
Last week, Paine came across one such ElasticSearch instance that had been left unsecured online with no authentication to protect its sensitive content. From a first look, it was clear to Paine that the server contained data from an online betting portal.
Despite being one server, the ElasticSearch instance handled a huge swathe of information that was aggregated from multiple web domains, most likely from some sort of affiliate scheme, or a larger company operating multiple betting portals.
After an analysis of the URLs spotted in the server’s data, Paine and ZDNet concluded that all domains were running online casinos where users could place bets on classic cards and slot games, but also other non-standard betting games.
Some of the domains that Paine spotted in the leaky server included kahunacasino.com, azur-casino.com, easybet.com, and viproomcasino.net, just to name a few.
After some digging around, some of the domains were owned by the same company, but others were owned by companies located in the same building at an address in Limassol, Cyprus, or were operating under the same eGaming license number issued by the government of Curacao –a small island in the Carribean– suggesting that they were most likely operated by the same entity.
The user data that leaked from this common ElasticSearch server included a lot of sensitive information, such as real names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, site usernames, account balances, IP addresses, browser and OS details, last login information, and a list of played games.
Furthermore, Paine also found roughly 108 million records containing information on current bets, wins, deposits, and withdrawals. Data on deposits and withdrawals also included payment card details.
The good news is that the payment card details indexed in the ElasticSearch server were partially redacted, and they were not exposing the user’s full financial details.
The bad news is that anyone who found the database would have known the names, home addresses, and phone numbers of players who recently won large sums of money and could have used this information to target users as part of scams or extortion schemes.
ZDNet reached out with emails to all the online portals whose data Paine identified in the leaky server. At the time of writing, we have not received any response from any of the support teams we contacted last week, but today, the leaky server went offline and is not accessible anymore.
“It’s down finally. Unclear if the customer took it down or if OVH firewalled it off for them,” Paine told ZDNet, after he, too, reached out to the cloud provider last week.
Seeing that none of the above-mentioned sites have responded to our request for comment, and nor has their mother company, it is unclear for how long the server had been left exposed online, how many users have been impacted exactly, if anyone outside the security researcher accessed the leaky server, and if customers will ever get notified that their personal data was left exposed on the internet in plain view.
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