Researchers Found World-Readable Database Used To Secure Buildings Around the Globe (arstechnica.com)

Researchers said they have found a publicly accessible database containing almost 28 million records — including plain-text passwords, face photos, and personal information — that was used to secure buildings around the world. Ars Technica reports: Researchers from vpnMentor reported on Wednesday that the database was used by the Web-based Biostar 2 security system sold by South Korea-based Suprema. Biostar uses facial recognition and fingerprint scans to identify people authorized to enter warehouses, municipal buildings, businesses, and banks. vpnMentor said the system has more than 1.5 million installations in a wide range of countries including the U.S., the UK, Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka. According to vpnMentor, the 23-gigabyte database contained more than 27.8 million records used by Biostar to secure customer facilities. The data included usernames, passwords and user IDs in plaintext, building access logs, employee records including start dates, personal details, mobile device data, and face images. The researchers said the data also included more than 1 million records containing actual fingerprint scans, but the report provided no data to support the claim.

“The vpnMentor researchers said they discovered the exposed database on August 5 and privately reported the finding two days later,” reports Ars Technica. “The data wasn’t secured until Tuesday, six days later.”

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