Sensitive information about US military personnel has been uncovered on an insecure Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 server by a security company.
The security company, UpGuard, claims that it found the collection of curriculum vitaes (CVs) and applications for a position at a place called TigerSwan.
TigerSwan admitted to UpGuard that these CVs included some from people applying for top-secret jobs.
"The UpGuard Cyber Risk Team can now disclose that a publicly accessible, cloud-based data repository of résumés and applications for employment submitted for positions with TigerSwan, a North Carolina-based private security firm, were exposed to the public internet, revealing the sensitive personal details of thousands of job applicants, including hundreds claiming 'Top Secret' US government security clearances," claimed the security firm.
It continued: "TigerSwan has recently told UpGuard that the résumés were left unsecured by a recruiting vendor that TigerSwan terminated in February 2017.
"If that vendor was responsible for storing the résumés on an unsecured cloud repository, the incident again underscores the importance of qualifying the security practices of vendors who are handling sensitive information."
UpGuard said that the data most certainly belongs to veterans, while TigerSwan blamed the recruiter.
"TigerSwan subsequently told UpGuard that the files were left unsecured by a former recruiting vendor.
"Within the repository, publicly accessible to any internet user accessing the S3 bucket's URL, is a folder titled 'Résumés,' last backed up or uploaded in February 2017. Inside this 'Résumés' folder are 9,402 documents, in varying file formats and with no naming conventions employed for the file names," explained UpGuard.
"While this lack of uniformity perhaps indicates the documents were unchanged since being submitted by a large pool of applicants, the file names and contents leave no question as to the nature of the data— resumes and application forms submitted for positions with TigerSwan."
TigerSwan issued a public apology for the inadequate security, claimed that it had fixed the breach and informed anyone potentially affected about the problem.
"We take information security very seriously, especially in this instance, because a majority of the résumés files were from veterans. As a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, we find the potential exposure of their résumés inexcusable," said TigerSwan CEO Jim Reese.
"To our colleagues and fellow veterans, we apologise. The situation is rectified and we have initiated steps to inform the individuals affected by this breach."
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