Airport’s Backup Server Exposed for a Year

I’ve heard my share of pitches from server and storage vendors since starting with Gestalt IT. Each one has a different focus or approach on their product. Some are automation heavy, others are cost effective, still others reimagine what a category actually constitutes and seeks to disrupt the status quo.

Ultimately, no matter how innovatative or unique, at some point, these solutions still need to interact with humans, and that’s when they can run into trouble. The Stewart International Airport found that out the hard way. For over a year, a misconfigured backup server was basically open to the public, serving up 11 disk images. This included deemed “sensitive” by Homeland Security, as well as interoffice memos, email, and payroll information.

The drive has since been secured, but maybe use this as a reminder to check your server configurations?

Zack Whittaker comments

The internet-connected storage drive contained several backup images of servers used by Stewart International Airport, but neither the backup drive nor the disk images were password protected, allowing anyone to access their contents.

The airport, about 60 miles north of Manhattan, serves hundreds of thousands of passengers each year, and is regularly used by the military. The airport is known for accommodating charter flights of high-profile guests, including foreign dignitaries.

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About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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