Robo-drop: Factory bot biz 'leaks' automakers' secrets onto the web

Assembly line 'droid builder latest to be accused of leaving rsync wide open on the internet

Yet another organization has allegedly been caught accidentally exposing more than 100GB of sensitive corporate data to the open internet.

This time it's Canadian outfit Level One Robotics, which specializes in building factory robots for automakers. The exposed information includes, it is claimed, confidential documents involving the likes of Toyota, Ford, GM, VW, Fiat Chrysler, and Tesla.

Upguard, an infosec biz with a forte in uncovering online leakages, said late last week the secret files were available for anyone on the internet to find via a poorly configured rsync server. We're told Level One's rsync server had been set to take connections from any IP address without authentication.

This, according to Upguard, meant that anyone with an rsync client, and the vulnerable server's IP address, could have potentially connected to the server and downloaded internal – and rather sensitive and valuable – company documents and customer data stored on the box. These files, it is claimed, included robot designs for building cars, NDAs, and so on.

"The 157 gigabytes of exposed data include over 10 years of assembly line schematics, factory floor plans and layouts, robotic configurations and documentation, ID badge request forms, VPN access request forms, and ironically, non-disclosure agreements, detailing the sensitivity of the exposed information," the Upguard team claimed.

"Not all types of information were discovered for all customers, but each customer contained some data of these kinds."

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We're told the schematics also included detailed CAD illustrations of factory layouts and equipment design, as well as animations showing how the robotic equipment was designed to operate.

Level One did not respond to El Reg's request for comment on the matter, seemingly because the biz is keeping schtum.

"Level One takes these allegations very seriously and is diligently working to conduct a full investigation of the nature, extent and ramifications of this alleged data exposure,” Level One CEO Milan Gasko told the New York Times. “In order to preserve the integrity of this investigation, we will not be providing comment at this time.”

Not all of those impacted by the breach are so worried, however. A Ford spokesperson told The Register that the company's exposure appears minimal. "We’ve found no information that would indicate Ford is impacted," the spokesperson said. "This supplier does not handle confidential information for the joint venture to whom they are contracted and they have not alerted us to any issue."

Meanwhile, General Motors, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Tesla, and Volkswagen have declined to comment or not responded to requests for comment.

Regardless of what was exposed and who it belonged to, the breach is yet another reminder that system and network administrators should pay close attention to what data they have exposed to the public internet and how they lock that data down.

"It’s important to note that this most recent data exposure was not due to a vulnerability in rsync but rather a misconfiguration," RedLock veep of cloud security security Matt Chiodi told The Register. "This is the same type of administrative error we continue to see over and over again both on-premises as well as in the cloud." ®




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