Largest Data Breaches in History: Was It a Misconfiguration Problem?

Largest Data Breaches in History: Was It a Misconfiguration Problem?

Regardless of the general advances in the security venture that is made over the previous decade, undertakings are still caught by the ruptures. What’s straightaway? We are discovering that numerous assaults bring about ruptures by abusing the encryptions in a few or the other way. With the due comparison, it is depicted that only 4% of the data breaches are tracked as secured breaches which are further used in the encryption that is rendered stolen against the useless data. It is pitiful to perceive how frequently human mistake permits digital aggressors to get to all the scrambled channels and delicate information. The human error is a very well-archived history of making information ruptures.  As per the data received by the Kroll – a consulting firm, almost 90% of the data breach reports data were due to the human error.

In this article, we will be looking at the topmost dangerous data breaching events that occurred in the past all due to human error. Let’s get started with.


In the year of 2017, the Equifax Company was reported with the vulnerability that affected various versions of the Apache Struts by the US Department of Homeland Security. The company created an alert by generating a mass internal email about the issue. An automatic scan was likewise led following a few days to recognize the helpless form of Apache Struts yet all futile! Several devices that inspected encrypted traffic were misconfigured as their digital certificate was expired prior to ten months. To all these, due to the expired digital certificates, it was able to crack into Equifax’s system for maintaining their access. Once the cyber attackers approached the system, they can without much of a stretch introduce maverick or taken testaments which conceals the exfiltration in scrambled rush hour gridlock. Until and except if the HTTPS infusion arrangements were made accessible for getting to every one of the endorsements, rebel declarations stay undetected.


A certificate that was used by the giant business social networking company – LinkedIn got expired for its country subdomains. According to one report, the data breach incident did not affect the global website for LinkedIn as it had a certificate issued by DigiCert SHA2 Secure Server CA that invalidated their other subdomains. Whenever the certificates got expired, it indicates that the entire protection for the machine identities is on the edge of dangers. Uncontrolled certificates become a prime target for cybercriminals as they use it to impersonate against the illicit access of the company.


The Shodan search engine which was indexed under an Amazon-hosted IP came across it and determine that the IP has resolved to a database that was left unprotected by the lack of a password. The exposed database consists of 200 gigabytes of the personal data which was a real asset to the company as it included the names, email addresses and other IP addresses of the customers. All the user names and passwords are one of the weak ways to interrupt private access. What’s more, if an association doesn’t keep up the unlimited authority of the private keys which oversees access for an inside framework that gives a superior opportunity to the aggressors for getting entrance.

Marine Corps

Toward the start of 2018, the Defense Travel System (DTS) of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) conveyed a decoded email with a connection to an inappropriate dispersion list. The email, which the DTS sent inside the official unclassified Marine space yet in addition to some regular citizen accounts, uncovered the individual data of around 21,500 Marines and regular people. Pre Marine Corps Times, the information incorporated exploited people’s ledger numbers, truncated Social Security Numbers and crisis contact data. In the event that associations are not utilizing appropriate encryption, cybercriminals can embed themselves between two email servers to catch and peruse the email. Sending private individual personality data over decoded channels basically turns into an open greeting to cybercriminals.


Child parenting site Mumsnet revealed itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office after a redesign drove clients to see subtleties of different records. Mumsnet CEO and author Justine Roberts clarified in a message on the site that between two days any clients signing into their record while someone else was signed in could have had their record data exchanged. This would bring about them coincidentally signing into another person’s record and accessing their email address, account subtleties, posting history and individual messages, yet not their passwords as the information is encoded. The organization doesn’t have the foggiest idea what number of individuals were influenced, however around 4,000 client accounts were signed in during the period being referred to, and 14 episodes had been accounted for up until now.


Red group and pen-testing outfit Adversis has released a blog cautioning that countless records are basically openly accessible through prominent distributed storage merchant Box’s sub-space URL administration, including exceptionally personal individual archives, for example, financial balance numbers, identification photographs, and government disability numbers – just as model and configuration documents facilitated by prominent tech organizations. In simple terms, organizations that sign up with Box Enterprise will be given their own sub-space, with clients in those associations ready to share reports by means of a novel URL.

Such information included identification photographs, the government-oriented savings and ledger numbers, innovative organization model and configuration records, arrangements of representatives, money related information including solicitations and inside issue trackers, client records with documents of gatherings, and framework information including VPN designs and system charts.

Wrapping Up

Here, we come to the end of the article. We hope you have understood the impact of human error on multiple internal systems. You can try to incorporate a few tactics to avoid the breaches and secure your systems from cyber attackers. Till then – Keep Learning!

Known for his amazing writing and technical blogging skills, Edward Thompson is the admin of the Techenger. Joined back in 2019, after moving from San Francisco to Chicago to switch from his role of staff writer to a guest blogger. Since then, he never looked back to his past. In nutshell, he is a tech enthusiast who loves to write, read, test, evaluate, and spread knowledge about the growing technology that surrounds mankind.

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