Feeds

Do you use NAS drives? For work? One just LEAKED secret cash-machine blueprints

So says security biz in 'share everything to the web' flaw alert

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Some personal desktop storage devices are leaking top corporate secrets to the internet – in one case, the designs for a hole-in-the-wall cash machine.

That's according to intelligence biz Digital Shadows, which tries to work out how proprietary and personal information accidentally escapes network boundaries.

We're told one particular off-the-shelf network-attached storage (NAS) box grants outside access to its file system without authentication by default.

This "easy share" feature is supposed to make passing information to other users more convenient, although it appears to be a little too convenient: miscreants aware of the "share everything" design flaw are scanning the public internet for vulnerable models, and grabbing sensitive stuff, it's claimed.

It's conceivable that NAS boxes might accidentally face the internet due to lax controls: picture an employee taking his or her work home, and backing up to a personal storage system that can be accessed via their flat's broadband connection.

Off-site contractors could also make the same mistake if their machines are not locked down. There's even the danger of workers using cloud-based storage for back ups, which then leak their contents insecurely. Some desktop drives even mirror their files to the cloud automatically.

Above all, sysadmins should keep an eye out for staff using NAS drives that are reachable from the external web – such the over-sharing product Digital Shadows identified.

"The device publishes an interface on a public IP address, which includes a search function whereby anyone connecting to the device using a web browser is able to search the contents of the device," a spokesman for the East Sussex, UK-based security biz told The Reg yesterday.

"They can then click through to view the files. We have seen discussion of these devices with links to documents shared between individuals exploiting this vulnerability – often exploiting these devices for the purposes of identity theft."

In the interests of responsible disclosure, Digital Shadows did not name the affected NAS box although it has warned the hardware's maker, we're told. "Due to the nature of the vulnerability, we are keen not to go into details, other than to say it is a known vulnerability. We have been in touch with the device manufacturer to ensure that they are aware," the spokesman explained.

"But given the deployed base of these drives, it is very difficult for the manufacturer to deploy fixes: it would require an update to the firmware of the devices, which requires action on the part of the user to update, or to reconfigure the sharing settings."

In the case of the ATM blueprint leak, a contractor using a company laptop backed up his or her work to a consumer-grade storage device, which exposed its contents to the internet – all thanks to its factory settings. In a separate but similar leak, contract bidding documents belonging to a US technology firm ended up online, we're told.

Luckily, this type of cock-up is uncommon, but Digital Shadows is worried there's a growing use of devices that, by default, share their contents without requiring authentication to access the files. One simply has to know a vulnerable box's IP address, for instance.

"Innocent people are backing up often sensitive work information to these devices, and the content is accessible to anyone. Most scarily, no authentication or access control is applied, allowing individuals to retrieve and search the contents of the drive," the spokesman added.

"Users of these drives are unaware that this misconfiguration exists, the first they know is that they have been involved in an incident."

Alastair Paterson, chief exec of Digital Shadows, reminded El Reg that relying on "data loss prevention" software to detect leaks of secrets from corporate networks is borderline useless against vulnerable NAS drives – when the boxes are used beyond the companies' boundaries by off-site contractors, staff working from home, and so on. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.