Slickwraps, a company that develops skins for Apple devices like the iPhone and Mac, yesterday suffered a data breach that saw customer info like names and addresses leaked.
News of the leak surfaced when hackers who got into the database sent out emails to Slickwraps’ customer base of more than 370,000 users letting them know about Slickwraps’ poor security.
Prior to the breach, Slickwraps was warned of the vulnerabilities in its site (linked to the create a skin feature) multiple times by a security researcher who goes by Lynx on Twitter, who has now deleted all of his tweets.
Lynx informed Slickwraps about the data breach on February 15, and attempted to get in touch with the company several times over the course of the last week, as outlined by an article shared on Medium that has now been suspended by Medium. Lynx had his emails ignored and was even blocked by Slickwraps on Twitter after attempting to inform the site of its security vulnerabilities.
Lynx’s interactions with Slickwraps were not exactly polite and he was dealing with customer support staff that were clearly confused about what was going on based on the now-removed Medium article, but Slickwraps blatantly ignored multiple warnings about its poor security before the data breach. Lynx says that he did not send out the emails that were delivered to Slickwraps customers yesterday and that it was a third-party data breach that happened after his article was published, but with his Medium post suspended and all of his tweets deleted, he may be in some hot water for the public way that he disclosed the vulnerabilities in the site.
After the emails went out and customers became aware of the data breach, Slickwraps finally commented on the situation. An initial statement tweeted by Slickwraps (which is based in the United States) claimed to have just heard about the data breach on “February 22” when it was still February 21, which was a clear lie because Lynx documented his attempts to get in touch with the company on Twitter. Slickwraps later deleted the statement and tweeted a new one with the correct date. From Slickwraps’ statement:
There is nothing we value higher than trust from our users. In fact, our entire business model is dependent on building long-term trust with customers that keep coming back.
We are reaching out to you because we’ve made a mistake in violation of that trust. On February 21st, we discovered information in some of our non-production databases was mistakenly made public via an exploit. During this time, the databases were accessed by an unauthorized party.
The information did not contain passwords or personal financial data.
The information did contain names, user emails, addresses. If you’ve ever checked out as “GUEST” none of your information was compromised.
Slickwraps goes on to say that it is “deeply sorry” for the oversight and promises to “learn from this mistake.” It recommends that users reset their account passwords and be watchful for any phishing attempts.
Going forward, Slickwraps says that it will enhance its security processes, improve communication of security guidelines to Slickwraps employees, and make user-requested security features a “top priority.” The company says that it is also partnering with a third-party cyber security firm to audit and improve security protocols.
Slickwraps’ data breach demonstrates the importance of penetration testing for any site that deals with customer data. Data breaches are pretty much impossible to avoid these days, but customers can protect themselves somewhat by using unique passwords for every site and using two-factor authentication where appropriate.