Fortune 500 Property Registration Gig Website First American Financial Corp. [NYSE:FAF] leaked hundreds of millions of documents related to mortgage contracts dating back to 2003 until announced this week by KrebsOnSecurity. The digitized records – including bank account numbers and information, mortgage and tax records, social security numbers, receipt receipts and receipt cards – were unauthorized for anyone with a web browser.
Santa Ana, California-based First American, is a leading provider of title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industry. It employs about 1
Earlier this week, KrebsOnSecurity was contacted by a real estate developer in the Washington state who said he had little luck getting an answer from the company on what He found, that was part of his site (firstam.com) leaked tens if not hundreds of millions of records. He said that anyone who knew the URL of a valid document on the site could see other documents just by changing a single digit in the link.
And this will potentially include anyone who has ever been sent a document link via email by First American.
KrebsOnSecurity confirmed the property developer's findings, indicating that First Americans website published approx. 885 million files, the earliest dating back more than 16 years. No approval was required to read the documents.
Many of the exposed files are records of wire transactions with bank account numbers and other information from home and property buyers and sellers. Ben Shoval developer who notified KrebsOnSecurity about the data exposure, said that because First American is one of the most widely used property insurance companies and to close real estate agreements – where both parties for sale meet in a room and sign stacks of legal documents .
"Closing agencies should be the only neutral party that does not represent the interests of others, and you must have title insurance if you have any kind of mortgage," says Shoval.
"The title insurance company gathers all kinds of documents from both the buyer and seller, including social security numbers, driver's licenses, bank statements and even internal business documents if you are a small business. You give them all kinds of private information and you expect them to be private. must be private. "
Shoval shared a document link he had been given by First American from a recent transaction, which referred to a record number that was nine numbers long and dated April 2019. Changing the document number in its link with numbers in both directions, other people's records gave before or after the same date and time, indicating that the document numbers may have been issued sequentially.
The earliest document number available on the site – 000000075 – referred to a real estate agency from 2003. From there, the dates of the documents come closer in real time with each progress of the postcode.
From the morning of May 24, firstam.com returned documents up to today (885,000,000+), including many PDF files and post-d formed future real estate services forms. At 2 am Friday the company had disabled the site that served the records. It is not yet clear how long the site remains in its promiscuous state, but archive.org displays documents available from the site dating back to at least March 2017.
First American would not comment on the total number of records potentially exposed through their site , or how long these records were publicly available. But a spokesman for the company shares the following statement:
"First American has learned from a design error in a program that allowed unauthorized access to customer data. At First American, security, privacy, and confidentiality are top priorities and we are committed to protecting Customer Information. The company immediately took steps to resolve the situation and terminate remote access to the application. We are currently evaluating the effect, if any, on the security of customer information. We will not have further comments before our internal review is completed. " 19659017] I should emphasize that these documents were only available from First Americans website; I have no information as to whether this fact was known to scammers earlier, nor do I have any information suggesting that the documents were somehow harvested in bulk (although a low and slow or distributed indexing of this data had not been difficult for even a beginner attacker.
Nevertheless, the information exposed by First American will be a virtual gold mine for phishers and scammers involved in so-called Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, which often constitute real estate agents, closing agencies, title and escrow companies in an attempt to trick real estate buyers into scams, according to the FBI, BEC scams are the most costly form of online crime today.
A single link to a first US document, BEC scammers would have An endless access to highly convincing phishing templates that should be used. t new information about upcoming property finance transactions – including email addresses, names and phone numbers of end agents and buyers .
As mentioned in past stories here, these types of data exposures are some of the most common, yet preventable. In December 2018, the parent company of Kay Jewelers and Jared Jewelers established a weakness on their website that revealed the order information for all their online customers.
In August 2018, the financial industry giant Fiserv Inc. resolved an error reported by KrebsOnSecurity, which revealed personal and financial information about countless customers over hundreds of bank web pages.
In July 2018, Identity Theft Services LifeLock corrected an information context error that revealed the email address of millions of subscribers. And in April 2018, PaneraBread.com addresses a weakness that shows millions of customer names, emails and physical addresses, birthdays and partial credit card numbers.
Tags: Ben Shoval, First American Financial Corp.
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