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U.S. Bond Insurer MBIA Exposed Sensitive Customer Data

Data belonging to customers of MBIA Inc., the largest bond insurer in the United States, was inadvertently made available online due to a misconfigured Web server.

Data belonging to customers of MBIA Inc., the largest bond insurer in the United States, was inadvertently made available online due to a misconfigured Web server.

MBIA is a Purchase, New York-based holding company that provides financial guarantee insurance, fixed-income asset management, and other financial services through its subsidiaries. The company was founded in 1973 as the Municipal Bond Insurance Association.

Customer names, account and routing numbers, balances, dividends and other information from was made publicly accessible and it was even indexed by search engines because of an Oracle Reports database server that wasn’t configured to ensure that only authorized users could access data, security blogger Brian Krebs reported.

The affected website, which has been taken down after MBIA learned of the data leak, stored customer information from Cutwater Asset Management, a fixed-income unit of MBIA which is set to be acquired by BNY Mellon Corp. Google indexed 230 pages of account statements for entities such as Texas CLASS, the Town of Richmond, NH, Connecticut CLASS Plus, and the New Hampshire Public Deposit Investment Pool, Krebs said.

In addition to account information, some of the exposed documents also contained details on how to authorize new bank accounts for deposits.

MBIA says the affected server has been taken offline and an investigation has been launched. The company has started notifying customers about the incident, but it refused to state precisely how many are affected.

“We have been notified that certain information related to clients of MBIA’s asset management subsidiary, Cutwater Asset Management, may have been illegally accessed. We are conducting a thorough investigation and will take all measures necessary to protect our customers’ data, secure our systems, and preserve evidence for law enforcement,” MBIA spokesman Kevin Brown told SecurityWeek.

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Independent security expert Bryan Seely, the individual who discovered the leaked data, noted that an Oracle Reports diagnostics page was also accessible on the misconfigured server. The page in question included login credentials that could be used to access all the customer data hosted on the server.

“Billions in taxpayer funds, invested into one of the largest institutions in the world that were essentially being guarded by a sleeping security guard. What happens to those states when the money disappears?” Seely said.

Written By

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.

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