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HPE Says Customer Data Compromised in Aruba Data Breach

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has confirmed that a small amount of customer data was compromised in a data breach involving its subsidiary Aruba Networks.

The incident, HPE says, was discovered on November 2, and involved the use of an access key to gain unauthorized access to “a limited subset of information held in the Aruba Central cloud environment.”

Two data repositories were compromised in the incident, one containing network telemetry data on Wi-Fi client devices connected to most Aruba Central customer networks, and another storing location data about Wi-Fi devices, such as details on devices being in proximity of other devices.

Some of the compromised information, HPE explains, includes Media Access Control (MAC) and IP addresses, device operating system details, hostnames, and usernames where authentication is used. Additionally, records of date, time, and the Wi-Fi access point a device was connected to were also stored in the affected repositories.

“The environment did not include any sensitive or special categories of personal data (as defined by GDPR),” the company says.

HPE believes that “a very small amount” of data was exfiltrated, but also notes that it couldn’t specifically identify which customers were impacted by the incident, because the data repositories “are used for streaming of high-volume machine learning data” and no individual file access is logged within these repositories.

“Through traffic volume accounting, we have concluded that unauthorized access, if any, is limited to a small fraction of overall data, but we do not know which specific files or which specific customers might be part of that activity,” the company continues.

Although the data was stored in Apache Parquet format and not in plain text, the adversary was also in the possession of the schema file that allowed them to convert records to plain text.

HPE also explains that the attacker compromised the repositories using a key that provided access to data in multiple buckets, located in various regions, and that data in these buckets is purged every 30 days, meaning that the oldest records there were dated September 10.

The access key employed in this incident was first used on October 9 and automatically decommissioned and rotated on October 27, meaning that the adversary potentially had access to the compromised repositories for 18 days.

Only data collected from Wi-Fi networks was affected in the incident and no vulnerability was exploited in the attack, as the adversary did not access the repositories through the Aruba Central application.

HPE says it’s in the process of notifying potentially affected customers of the incident.

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