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Data Protection

United Nations Environment Programme Exposed 100,000 Employee Records

Security researchers with Sakura Samurai identified exposed GitHub credentials on a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) subdomain, which allowed them to access a trove of data, including more than 100,000 employee records.

Security researchers with Sakura Samurai identified exposed GitHub credentials on a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) subdomain, which allowed them to access a trove of data, including more than 100,000 employee records.

While researching security flaws in assets within the scope of The United Nations’ vulnerability disclosure program, the Sakura Samurai researchers discovered an subdomain that exposed .git contents.

This allowed them to take over an SQL database, as well as perform account takeover on a Survey Management Platform belonging to the International Labour Organization. However, although these are critical vulnerabilities, both resources were found to be abandoned, thus containing little data of use.

Further fuzzing, however, led the researchers to a UNEP subdomain that leaked GitHub credentials, thus enabling them to access and download “a lot of private password-protected GitHub projects.”

These projects, Sakura Samurai says, contained multiple databases, as well as application credentials for the UNEP production environment. A total of 7 credential pairs were identified, providing unauthorized access to more databases.

In one of these, two documents containing over 102,000 travel records of employees were identified. These records included names, employee ID numbers, employee groups, justification of travel, start and end dates of travel, approval status, length of stay, and destination.

The researchers also found two documents containing over 7,000 HR nationality demographics records: employee names and groups, ID numbers, nationality and gender of employee, employee pay grade, and organization work unit identification number and unit text tags.

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Over 1,000 generalized employee records were found in another document: index numbers, employee names and emails, and employee work subareas.

Another document exposed in excess of 4,000 project and funding source records, including affected areas, grant and co-financing amounts, funding sources, project identification numbers, implementing agencies, countries, period of the project, and approval status.

A document containing evaluation reports contained information on 283 projects, including overall description of the evaluations and reports, periods when the evaluation was conducted, and links to the report.

Related: ACLU Sues FBI to Learn How It Obtains Data From Encrypted Devices

Related: Hackers Trick GoDaddy Employees in Operation Targeting Cryptocurrency Services

Related: SANS Institute Says Multiple Employees Targeted in Recent Attack

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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