Ata Hakcil led the team of white hat hackers from WizCase in identifying a major data leak on online trading broker FBS’ websites.

The data from FBS.com and FBS.eu comprised millions of confidential records including names, passwords, email addresses, passport numbers, national IDs, credit cards, financial transactions and more.

Were such detailed personally identifiable information (PII) to fall in the wrong hands, it could have been used in the execution of a wide range of cyber threats. The data leak was unearthed as part of WizCase’s ongoing research project that randomly scans for unsecured servers and seeks to establish who are the owners of these servers. We notified FBS of the breach so they could take appropriate action to secure the data. They got back to us a few days later and secured the server within 30 minutes.

What’s Going On

Forex, a portmanteau of foreign currency and exchange, is the process of converting one currency into another for a wide range of reasons including finance, commerce, trading and tourism. The forex trading market averages more than US$5 trillion in daily trading volume. Forex trading may be dominated by banks and global financial services but, thanks to the Internet, the average person can today dabble directly in forex, securities and commodities trading.

In the rush toward online trading though, users have entrusted terabytes of confidential data to online forex trading platforms. With financial transactions being at the core of forex trading, the nature of user data held in these trading databases is highly sensitive. This has made online trading sites a lucrative target for cybercriminals.

FBS, a major online forex trading site, left an unsecured ElasticSearch server containing almost 20TB of data and over 16 billion records. Despite containing very sensitive financial data, the server was left open without any password protection or encryption. The WizCase team found that the FBS information was accessible to anyone. The breach is a danger to both FBS and its customers. User information on online trading platforms should be well secured to prevent similar data leaks.

Billions of FBS Records Exposed in Online Trading Broker Data Leak