Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

A contractor working for cell giant Sprint stored on an unprotected cloud server hundreds of thousands of cell phone bills of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile subscribers.

The storage bucket had more than 261,300 documents, the vast majority of which were phone bills belonging to cell subscribers dating as far back as 2015. But the bucket, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), was not protected with a password, allowing anyone to access the data inside.

It’s not known how long the bucket was exposed.

The bills — which contained names, addresses and phone numbers, and many included call histories — were collected as part of an offer to allow cell subscribers to switch to Sprint, according to Sprint-branded documents found on the server. The documents explained how the cell giant would pay for the subscriber’s early termination fee to break their current cell service contract, a common sales tactic used by cell providers.

In some cases we found other sensitive documents, such as a bank statement, and a screenshot of a web page that had subscribers’ online usernames, passwords and account PINs — which in combination could allow access to a customer’s account.

U.K.-based penetration testing company Fidus Information Security found the exposed data, but it wasn’t immediately clear who owned the bucket. Fidus disclosed the security lapse to Amazon, which informed the customer of the exposure — without naming them. The bucket was subsequently shut down.

A Verizon and AT&T phone bill from two customers. (Image: supplied)

A T-Mobile bill found on the exposed servers. A handful of Sprint bills were also found. (Image: supplied)

After a brief review of the cache, we found one document that said, simply, “TEST.” When we ran the file through a metadata checker, it revealed the name of the person who created the document — an account executive at Deardorff Communications, the marketing agency tasked with the Sprint promotion.

When reached, Jeff Deardorff, president of Deardorff Communications, confirmed his company owned the bucket and that access was restricted earlier on Wednesday.

“I have launched an internal investigation to determine the root cause of this issue, and we are also reviewing our policies and procedures to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” he told TechCrunch in an email.

Given the exposed information involved customers of the big four cell giants, we contacted each company. AT&T did not comment, and T-Mobile did not respond to a request for comment. Verizon spokesperson Richard Young said the company was “currently reviewing” the matter and would have details “as soon as it’s available.” (TechCrunch is owned by Verizon.)

When reached, a spokesperson for Sprint would not disclose the nature of its relationship with Deardorff nor would they comment on the record at the time of writing.

It’s not known why the data was exposed in the first place. It’s not uncommon for AWS storage buckets to be misconfigured by being set to “public” and not “private.”

“The uptrend we’re seeing in sensitive data being publicly accessible is concerning, despite Amazon releasing tools to help combat this,” said Harriet Lester, director of research and development at Fidus. “This scenario was slightly different to usual as it was tricky to identify the owner of the bucket, but thankfully the security team at AWS were able to pass the report on to the owner within hours and public access was shut down soon after.”

We asked Deardorff if his company plans to inform those whose information was exposed by the security lapse. We did not immediately receive a response.

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TechCrunch

Opportunity’s still knocking, but it’s on a very short leash. We’re T-minus 48 hours remaining on early bird prices to Disrupt Berlin 2019. And if you want to talk opportunity, you won’t find a better one than attending this two-day international conference focused on early-stage startups.

Right now, savvy startuppers can reap significant savings — up to €500 depending on which pass level you purchase. But the countdown is on. Don’t let procrastination — or any other obstacle — sideline your chance to get the best price. Buy your early bird passes to Disrupt Berlin before the clock runs out tomorrow, 8 November, at 11:59 p.m. (CEST).

What kind of opportunities await you at Disrupt? Opportunities to network. Startup Alley, the pulsing heart of every Disrupt, will be home base to hundreds of early-stage startups. This is where you’ll find some of the most innovative technology — products and platforms, services and talent. No matter what part of the startup ecosystem they occupy — founders, investors, media, marketers, engineers — everyone heads to the Alley.

While you’re exploring Startup Alley, be sure to check out our TC Top Picks. We hand-picked this cohort of roughly 30-50 exemplary startups representing these tech categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education.

Disrupt Berlin packs a lot of programming into two short days. Pro tip: Use CrunchMatch, our free business match-making platform that helps you find, connect and schedule meetings with people based on mutual business goals and interests. No more wasting time or shoe leather trying to find and schedule meetings with the right people.

Now that you’re set to network with greater efficiency, don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn from a terrific lineup of speakers — founders, investors and tech icons ready to address the most challenging issues facing the startup community. Check the Disrupt Berlin agenda and plan your strategy before you even pack your bags.

Startup Battlefield is an opportunity to witness the birth of tomorrow’s tech giants — potential unicorns in the making. Since 2007, Startup Battlefield pitch competitions have launched 857 tech companies — like Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer and many others — that have collectively raised $ 8.9 billion and produced 112 exits.

Watch as 15-20 impressive early-stage startups pitch and demo to a tough panel of seasoned VCs and technologists. All the fast-paced action takes place live on the Main Stage. Be there to see which startup claims the Disrupt Cup and $ 50,000 prize.

Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December. So much untapped opportunity awaits, but your opportunity to pay early bird prices ends tomorrow, 8 November at 11:59 p.m. (CEST). Buy your early-bird pass to Disrupt Berlin today and keep the opportunities coming.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


TechCrunch

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said Saturday the company will ban “party houses” and take other steps to safeguard hosts and guests after five people died at a Halloween party hosted at California home that was rented on the service.

Chesky made the announcement via a series of tweets Saturday. “What happened on Thursday night in Orinda, CA was horrible,” Chesky wrote. “I feel for the families and neighbors impacted by this tragedy — we are working to support them.”

Chesky then announced that party houses would be banned and that the company is “redoubling” efforts to combat unauthorized parties.

Chesky announced several other measures to increase safety, including the expansion of manual screenings of high-risk reservations flagged by Airbnb’s risk detection technology and creating a dedicated “party house” rapid response team

Margaret Richardson, from Airbnb’s executive team, has been tasked to accelerate the review process to enact these new policies as soon as possible, he added.

 

Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office said the party had been advertised on social media as a mansion party, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Police were headed to the home Oct. 31 over noise complaints when the gunfire began around 10:50 p.m. Several people died at the scene. The fifth victim died Friday night.


TechCrunch

Would you like $ 100,000 to fatten the bottom line of your early-stage startup? Could your company benefit from global media coverage and investor attention? Do you have what it takes to compete against the very best early-stage startup founders?

Take your resounding “yes” and act quickly, because you have less than two weeks to apply to Startup Battlefield at Disrupt San Francisco 2019 on October 2-4.

Since 2007, our epic Startup Battlefield pitch competition has launched 857 companies that have raised more than $ 8 billion in funding and generated 109 exits. If you make the cut, you’ll follow in the footsteps of some pretty legendary companies, including Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer and more.

It won’t cost you a thing to apply to or participate in Startup Battlefield. And that includes free pitch coaching from Battlefield-tested TechCrunch editors. But first things first. Those editors will vet every application looking for roughly 15-30 exceptional startups. That elite Battlefield cohort receives the VIP treatment at Disrupt, including exhibit space in Startup Alley for all three days.

The free coaching will come in handy once the Big Day arrives. You’ll walk confidently onto the Disrupt Main Stage in front of an audience of thousands to deliver your six-minute pitch to a panel of judges experienced in the ways of tech and investing. Then you’ll answer whatever questions they put to you.

Survive that and you’ll move to the second, final round — the same pitch delivered to a new set of experts. All the judges will confer and then declare one champion. Those founders receive $ 100,000 in equity-free cash, the Disrupt Cup and a bright media and investor spotlight.

We also live-stream the whole shebang to the world on TechCrunch.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Plus, it’s available later on-demand. Yes, Startup Battlefield is intense, stressful and challenging. It’s also a lot of fun, and the benefits and the exposure — for all competitors — are well worth the effort.

Don’t miss your chance to launch your startup to the world at Disrupt SF 2019 on October 2-4. Do you have what it takes to be the champ? You have less than two weeks to find out. Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield.

While you’re at it, why not apply for our TC Top Picks program? If you make the cut, you’ll receive a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and plenty of media and investor exposure.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt SF 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


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