Lamo hacks Cingular claims site

Friday, 30 May 2003, 11:54 AM EST

Cingular can issue insurance to its mobile-phone customers to protect them against loss and damage, but it apparently can't ensure that hackers won't have full access to their personal data.

Adrian Lamo, a hacker who in the past has broken into The New York Times and Yahoo, found a gaping security hole in a website run by a company that issues the insurance to Cingular customers. By accessing the site, Lamo said he could have pulled up millions of customer records had he wanted to.

He said he discovered the problem this weekend through a random finding in a Sacramento Dumpster, where a Cingular store had discarded records about a customer's insurance claim for a lost phone. By simply typing in a URL listed on the detritus, Lamo was taken to the customer's claim page on a site run by lock\line LLC, which provides the claim management services to Cingular.

Normally, this page should have been reachable only by passing through a password-protected gateway, but by simply entering the valid URL, Lamo discovered that individual claims pages could be accessed, no password authentication needed.

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