Private and Trade Data Leaked by India’s Logistics Portal
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.