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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Private and Trade Data Leaked by India’s Logistics Portal

Private and Trade Data Leaked by India’s Logistics Portal
Husain Parvez Published on 6th October 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

In a significant security breach, India's National Logistics Portal-Marine inadvertently exposed sensitive personal and trade data. The breach, attributed to misconfigured Amazon S3 buckets and a JavaScript file embedded with login credentials, has raised concerns about the safety of state-run digital platforms in the country.

Security researcher Bob Diachenko, using the open-source security tool TruffleHog, discovered the breach. Speaking to TechCrunch, Bob stated that he found that the portal was revealing sensitive data, including personal details such as full names, nationality, date of birth, and passport numbers of crew members from various vessels and ships. Trade-related documents like invoices, shipping orders, and bills of lading were also accessible.

Diachenko highlighted the gravity of the situation, stating to Cybernews that “figuratively speaking, India’s one-window solution for shipping has left its digital keys right under the doormat. Moreover, the door itself was also open,” said Diachenko.

Upon discovery, Diachenko posted a screenshot of one of the exposed files on X (formerly Twitter) with the sensitive information redacted. They were promptly contacted by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and AWS's security team in an effort to gain more information. Later, CERT-In acknowledged the breach and confirmed that the vulnerabilities had been addressed.

Launched earlier this year, the National Logistics Portal-Marine was envisioned as a 'single window' for all logistics trade processes, spanning transportation across waterways, roadways, and airways. The platform also introduced an online marketplace, offering access to comprehensive logistics services.

This breach comes on the heels of India's recent enactment of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, which provides guidelines for private entities handling personal data. However, the Indian government is exempt from legal obligations outlined in the act.

Despite the swift response from CERT-In, both the ports, shipping, and waterways ministry and Portall, the firm responsible for the portal, have yet to comment on the situation.

About the Author

Husain Parvez is a Cybersecurity Researcher and News Writer at vpnMentor, focusing on VPN reviews, detailed how-to guides, and hands-on tutorials. Husain is also a part of the vpnMentor Cybersecurity News bulletin and loves covering the latest events in cyberspace and data privacy.