FORMER PIXELATED pre-internet page-turner Teletext Holidays has been hit with a security breach which saw 212,000 calls to its Indian call centre vulnerable to anyone and everyone.
Verdict, which discovered the hack, reports that the vulnerability, like so many before it, was the result of an unsecured Amazon Web Services (AWS) database.
Teletext Holidays is the last vestiges of the former brand, which was a popular way to search for a holiday via the TV, back in the days before the programme to populate the internet with cats had rolled out.
Verdict found 532,000 files in total, of which the aforementioned 212,000 were calls from customers made between 10 April 2016 and 10 August 2016. They have since been removed.
The recordings, which include enough British accents to confirm what they are, include a lot of personal data - not least details of customers' travel, but also names, dates of birth and lists of fellow travellers, including children - all information that could be used to build up a profile of someone, if hacking holidaymakers is your vibe.
What's even more concerning is that in some cases, the callers were put on hold and conversations continued to be recorded. In other words, Teletext Holidays could hear people even when they assumed they were on mute. That's some pretty hardcore undercover surveillance right there - we wonder how many other call centres do that?
Truly Travel, which now operates the Teletext Holidays brand under a subtitle (hooray!) said: "We are in the process of reporting the matter to the ICO, and we will fully comply with our wider legal obligations.
"The company is taking all appropriate steps to ensure that this situation does not occur in the future."
Teletext (big T, the brand) closed in 2009, but teletext (small t, the medium) continued in the UK until the end of Digital Switchover in 2012.
As for this hack, it does leave us wondering - why aren't AWS servers encrypted by default? There sure seem to be a lot of open ones. μ
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