The US Postal Service recently fixed a security bug that allowed any USPS.com account holder to view or change other users' data.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) last week patched a vulnerability in the API for a program called "Informed Visibility," which enabled anyone with an account for USPS.com to view and, in some cases edit, information of other users, KrebsOnSecurity reports.
KrebsOnSecurity was alerted to the bug by an anonymous researcher who reportedly informed USPS of the problem more than a year ago and didn't receive a response. In this case, the vulnerability was in the API of Informed Visibility, an online application designed to provide package tracking data to businesses, advertisers, and other organizations sending mail in bulk.
The bug exposed "near real-time data" about mail in transit from commercial users. It also let any USPS online account holder to query its system for other users' account details: usernames, phone numbers, email and physical addresses. If multiple accounts shared a common trait, like a street address, searching for that one piece of data unearthed multiple user records.
Setu Kulkarni, vice president of strategy and business development at WhiteHat Security, points out how when not secure, APIs can prove dangerous for organizations. He advises companies to perform security tests against potential weak spots, like APIs, network connections, mobile apps, websites, and databases.
"APIs are turning out to be a double-edged sword when it comes to internet scale B2B connectivity and security," he explains. "APIs, when insecure, break down the very premise of uber connectivity they have helped establish."
In a statement, USPS said it has no data indicating this bug was used to exploit user records.
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