CyberTech

Level 31
Verified
since it exploded onto the scene in January after a newspaper exposé, Clearview AI quickly became one of the most elusive, secretive, and reviled companies in the tech startup scene.

The controversial facial recognition startup allows its law enforcement users to take a picture of a person, upload it, and match it against its alleged database of 3 billion images, which the company scraped from public social media profiles.

But for a time, a misconfigured server exposed the company’s internal files, apps and source code for anyone on the internet to find.

Mossab Hussein, chief security officer at Dubai-based cybersecurity firm SpiderSilk, found the repository storing Clearview’s source code. Although the repository was protected with a password, a misconfigured setting allowed anyone to register as a new user to log in to the system storing the code.

The repository contained Clearview’s source code, which could be used to compile and run the apps from scratch. The repository also stored some of the company’s secret keys and credentials, which granted access to Clearview’s cloud storage buckets. Inside those buckets, Clearview stored copies of its finished Windows, Mac, and Android apps, as well as its iOS app, which Apple recently blocked for violating its rules. The storage buckets also contained early, pre-release developer app versions that are typically only for testing, Hussein said.
 

CyberTech

Level 31
Verified
The UK Information Commissioner's Office and Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) announced on Thursday that the pair would be teaming up to conduct a joint investigation into Clearview AI.

In April, OAIC asked questions of the company and issued a notice to produce under section 44 of the Australian Privacy Act.
Two months prior, the face recognition company suffered a data breach that included its customer list, the number of accounts each customer has, and the number of searches those customers had made.

"Security is Clearview's top priority," Clearview AI attorney Tor Ekeland said at the time. "Unfortunately, data breaches are part of life in the 21st century. Our servers were never accessed. We patched the flaw and continue to work to strengthen our security."

Among the organisations named in the customer list were the Australian Federal Police and other state-based police forces in Australia.
 
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