The user records of almost 7.5m Adobe Creative Cloud customers, including email addresses, account information and the names of the Adobe product they use, were left exposed online and were accessible to anyone with a web browser.
Comparitech partnered with the security researcher Bob Diachenko to uncover the exposed Elasticsearch database which was accessible without a password or any other form of authentication.
Upon discovering the exposed database, Diachenko notified Adobe immediately on October 19 and the company took the necessary steps to secure the database on the same day.
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However, we do not know exactly when the database was first exposed online though Diachenko estimates that it was accessible for about a week.
Exposed user data
While the exposed user data did not contain sensitive user information such as customers payment details, the information it did contain could be used to create phishing campaigns that target Creative Cloud users whose emails were leaked.
In total, the database contained information on users' email addresses, account creation date, which adobe products they use, subscription status, whether the user is an Adobe employee, member IDs, what country they're from, time since last login and payment status. Fortunately though, the database did not include any payment information or user passwords.
Creative Cloud users whose information was leaked need to remain vigilant when it comes to checking their inboxes for phishing emails and other scams. Now that cybercriminals have information about their account status, they will likely leverage it to launch phishing attacks.
For instance, a cybercriminal could use a user's subscription status to create a phishing email in which they say something along the lines of your account is set to expire, click here to renew it and this would bring a user to a fake website where their account credentials could be harvested. These phishing emails will likely appear much closer to legitimate emails from Adobe since an attacker would have access to a lot of extra information, such as when a user created their account, which they could use to their advantage.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.