Security Experts:

Defunct iPhone App Exposes Details of 198,000 Users

A researcher discovered an unprotected database storing the details of 198,000 users who had signed up for a now-defunct iOS application.

A misconfigured MongoDB database associated with the iPhone app Kinotopic was discovered by Chris Vickery, a researcher who currently works at Kromtech, the company behind MacKeeper.

Kinotopic, which allowed users to create and share animated pictures and cinemagraphs, was discontinued sometime in 2013. However, the database storing the accounts of people who used the app has not been deleted.

According to Vickery, the database stores the details of 198,000 former Kinotopic users, including their username, email address and password hash. The researcher has not been able to reach the app’s creators so he made his findings public in hopes that someone knows how to reach them. 

Vickery also contacted Apple thinking that it can reach the developers of the app, which had been hosted on the official App Store, but the tech giant wasn’t of much help.

The expert told SecurityWeek that he discovered the unprotected Kinotopic database during a regular review of search results for port 27017 on the Shodan search engine. Vickery believes that since the database is relatively easy to access, especially by someone who can guess the names of the database components, it’s likely that it has already been found by others.

“I would say there's a good chance someone else has already found it. I'd put the odds at about 80% - 90% chance it's already been found and plundered, especially with all the news MongoDB databases have been making recently,” Vickery said via email.

The password hashes in the database are fairly strong, but the researcher still advises former Kinotopic users to change them if they haven’t done so already.

Vickery has identified numerous misconfigured databases over the past period, including one belonging to MacKeeper, which is how he ended up working for the company. One of the largest exposed databases found by the researcher contained the details of 191 million U.S. voters.

UPDATE: Radu Spineanu, the creator of Kinotopic, informed SecurityWeek that the database was taken down roughly an hour after this article was published.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.