A total of 38 million data and personal information, some of which originated from platforms to track cases of contact with the new coronavirus, were vulnerable at the beginning of the year, due to the configuration of a Microsoft software used by several companies and organizations.
Security company UpGuard on Monday released the results of an investigation which shows that millions of names, addresses, tax identification numbers and other confidential information were exposed before the problem was resolved. However, they were not violated.
American Airlines, Ford, JB Hunt and groups such as the Maryland Health Authority and New York City Public Transit are among the 47 affected. All used Microsoft Power Apps software, which allows them to easily create websites and mobile apps that interact with the audience.
As of June 2021, the software’s default configuration did not adequately protect certain data, UpGuard investigators explained. “Thanks to our investigation, Microsoft has changed the Power Apps portals.”
“Our tools help create scalable solutions that meet a wide range of needs. We take security and privacy very seriously, and we encourage our customers to configure the products to best meet their privacy needs,” reacted a Microsoft spokesperson.
The group noted that it systematically informs customers when potential leakage risks are identified, so that they can be minimized. But according to UpGuard, it’s better to change the software based on how customers use it, rather than “seeing the general lack of data privacy as a misconfiguration on the part of the user, which perpetuates the problem and puts the public in risk”.
“The number of accounts where sensitive information was vulnerable shows that the risk associated with this role has not been adequately addressed,” the security company said.
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