A serious flaw in an online form left personal data of applicants for Italian visas exposed – a flaw discovered by chance after a user was trying to retrieve a saved application.
VFS Global, which provides visa services for governments around the world, produced an online form that used sequential reference numbers.
As two Russians living in the UK discovered when using the site to apply for holiday visas, they could enter another person's reference number and retrieve data. Details they were able to read included name, place of birth, nationality, sex, date of birth, marital status and other information including passport number.
“I could hardly believe it,” Dmitry Bagrov, managing director of DataArt UK, told the Guardian. He said the flaw was “beyond stupid”, accusing VFS Global of complacency and contempt for its customers.
VFS Global reiterated its commitment to data security and said its systems are subject to “stringent external independent audits on a periodic basis”. However in order to maintain continuous compliance of cyber security, VFS must in future be configured properly in order to protect and secure confidential data.
You can read the full article on SC Magazine UK here.