While we just completed the Challenges of ISP for the current situation, another news appeared of the data leak for one of the leading Internet services providers in Nepal. Of course, we had missed that part. The leak is for none other than Vianet Communications, whose customers’ details have been compromised with a possible hack that happened yesterday night. Find the official statement of Vianet below.
There has been a leak of more than 170,0000 (1.7 lakhs) Vianet’s customer’s data from hackers’ Twitter account. It is quite worrisome to have such data leaks in a series after the recent Foodmandu hack.
What’s in the hacker’s Tweet?
The data leak has happened from a twitter handle “नरपिचास” (@paapi_kto_mah). Here is the snapshot of the tweet in Nepali which translates to “Enjoy Data hungry people!!” from “डाटा भोगी मानबहरु लौ मोज गर: “.
The tweet also includes the link of the leaked data (through the dark web) which consists of Name, address, mobile number and email of the Vianet subscribers. The data dump is hosted on the ‘Onion network’ that encrypts the user’s data in onion-like layers making impossible to track.
Vianet confirms the data leak from a cyber incident that resulted in unauthorized access to personal data including name, mobile number, location, and email address. They also apologize to its customers from the worry and inconveniences that occurred due to the criminal activity.
The link mentioned in the post will only open in a TOR browser. The alleged hacker has preferred to host the data dump in the TOR network as it protects the user’s privacy. Another reason: they also have the ability to communicate secretly without being monitored there.
When we tried to access the twitter handle and the tweet, it seems to have been temporarily restricted.
We believe some actions might have been taken with the hacker and his tweet. But the data is still accessible.
Vianet’s official statement.
Vianet acknowledges the incident with the breach of its information system. They apologize to its customers for the inconvenience. The statement also claims to have identified and fixed the source of the breach. They would like to assure its customers of taking appropriate measures and actions to reinforce security and look for further vulnerabilities.
They have also contacted the Cyber Crime Bureau of Nepal Police to take action and mitigate the potential impacts. Meanwhile, they say they have requested to authorities to take down the data from where it was uploaded.
If you are a Vianet user, we recommend you to find proper measures to save you from further harm. “As someone might call you with your details asking you to do something, you just believe their words with the true data”.
Here is what Vianet recommends for its users.
- Not to entertain unknown calls, SMS and emails.
- Verify if the calling numbers are from Vianet (980146410, 015970444, 014217555)
- Check if the emails are from @vianet.com.np
- If there is any issue, they ask to reach them via the above numbers and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Change your passwords immediately in the email, the subscription account. (What we recommend)
It seems we have not learned from such data privacy and security concerns as more and more tech companies have fallen prey to such hacking. Had they sought enough security measures for such sensitive data, this kind of data leaks would not have occurred.