Recently, network security company, vpnMentor discovered that a database containing highly sensitive private information from South African IT company, Conor was exposed. The incident exposed more than 890GB of online activity browsing log data for about 1 million users. Users in South Africa have been greatly affected.
It is understood that the accident was caused by an unencrypted database call of Web filtering software built by Conor. This software is a web filter developed for ISP clients to restrict access to certain websites and online content types.
Researchers at vpnMentor said that their team was able to view user activity on pornographic sites, which included detailed usernames, which made it easy to find specific people on various social media platforms. By looking at the log of user activity that has been continuously updated over the past two months, researchers have found that these users are mainly from African and South American countries.
In addition to websites that users have visited, researchers can also view their index names, which expose users’ daily activities. These records include:
- The index names: allowing easy identification of daily activity
- MSISDN: a code that identifies a mobile phone user within their provider’s network, via their phone number
- IP address
- Duration of connection or visit to a website
- The volume of data (in bytes) transferred per session
- Full website URL
- If a website had been blocked by the filter or not