Noam Rotem and Ran Locar of vpnMentor’s research team recently discovered an unsecure and unencrypted online database. This database belongs to AutoClerk, a reservations management system. Best Western Hotels and Resort Group had just bought AutoClerk prior to this discovery.
The total size of the database was over 179GB of data. Exposed data includes sensitive information, such as full names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, dates and costs of travel, as well as masked credit card details.
Leaked travel information could lead to home burglaries while the victims are abroad. The same applies for government employees as well, but there is also the possibility of other attacks where they’re traveling to. For instance, enemy nations may ambush said government employees or even just stalk them while they’re out, gathering intel. This is much like posting travel plans on social media and coming back to a burglarized home due to fake or infiltrated connections.
If you’re a recent traveler, vpnMentor suggests reaching out to your hotel and seeing if you’re a victim of this breach. Other than that, it is advised to lock down databases and implement access control rules. There should never be a server hosting sensitive information publicly available online without some form of authentication.