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The US Federal Trade Commission has sued an IT provider for failing to detect 20 hacking intrusions over a 22-month period, allowing the hacker to access the data for 1 million consumers. The provider only discovered the breach when the hacker maxed out the provider’s storage system.
Utah-based InfoTrax Systems was first breached in May 2014, when a hacker exploited vulnerabilities in the company’s network that gave remote control over its server, FTC lawyers alleged in a complaint. According to the complaint, the hacker used that control to access the system undetected 17 times over the next 21 months. Then on March 2, 2016, the intruder accessed personal information for about 1 million consumers. The data included full names, social security numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and usernames and passwords for accounts on the InfoTrax service.
The intruder accessed the site later that day and again on March 6, stealing 4,100 usernames, passwords stored in clear-text, and hundreds of names, addresses, social security numbers, and data for payment cards.
The complaint said InfoTrax employees did not discover the breach until March 7, 2016, when they received alerts that one of the company's servers had reached its maximum storage capacity. The alert was the result of the intruder creating a data archive file that had grown so large that a hard drive ran out of space. It was only then, FTC attorneys said, that InfoTrax began taking steps to secure its network.
Even after the breach came to light, the InfoTrax network was compromised at least two more times, the FTC alleged. One week later, an intruder used malicious code to collect data through an InfoTrax customer’s website that harvested more than 2,300 unique, full payment card numbers, including names, physical addresses, CVVs, and expiration dates. Then on March 29, an intruder used the user ID and password of an InfoTrax client to upload more malicious code. The intruder used the access to collect newly submitted payment card data.
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