The Apollo breach exposed data on millions. But is it of any use to hackers?
The details: Apollo’s breach is one of the biggest of 2018, exposing data points on 200 million contacts from the company’s platform. The sales intelligence company aggregates data and analytics from publicly available information and social media with the purpose of helping sales people know who to contact.
The breach was reported to Apollo by Night Lion Security researcher Vinny Troia who discovered the database with 212 million contacts containing nine billion data points, all easily accessible to anyone online.
Why it matters: Apollo is in the business of “data enrichment” by pulling information about people from anywhere and everywhere. The purpose is to map email addresses and business and personal data to real people for the purpose of marketing and sales. Included in the data was also proprietary information from Apollo’s 500-plus clients, which could have included private Salesforce data.
Personal data can be gold to an attacker who can then use it for fraud, scams, spearphishing and fun. But the Dark Web is already flush with personal information, so it is unclear if exfiltration of Apollo data will make a difference.
The hacker perspective:
Eric "McGyver" McIntyre, director of research and development at Randori, says:
"If Apollo really was getting most of its data from 'public sources around the web,' including 'scrap[ing] Twitter and LinkedIn,' then it's really just an aggregator of public data sources. Not to underestimate the convenience factor this has for criminals, it doesn’t sound like any highly personal information was compromised (a la Equifax), and while the aggregation of this data might make it easier for scammers to broadly target the population, I doubt this has a significant impact on the capabilities of more sophisticated or targeted attackers."