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French pharmaceuticals distribution platform leaking 1.7+ TB of confidential data


The CyberNews investigation team discovered an unsecured, publicly accessible Kibana dashboard of an ElasticSearch database containing confidential data belonging to Apodis Pharma, a software company based in France.

Apodis Pharma is a company that offers a digital supply chain management platform and other software solutions created for pharmacies, healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical laboratories, and health insurance companies.

The database discovered by CyberNews contains over 1.7 TB of confidential business-related data, including pharmaceutical sales data, full names of Apodis Pharma partners and employees, client warehouse stock statistics, pharmaceutical shipment locations and addresses, and more.

On November 17, Apodis Pharma closed the database - it is no longer accessible to the public.

What’s in the database?

The unsecured Apodis Pharma ElasticSearch database contains seven unique indexes, which include the following:

  • An archive of confidential pharmaceutical shipment data, shipment storage status, the precise times and locations of where the shipments have been picked up by sellers or distributors, as well as the quantity of pharmaceuticals in the shipments.
  • An archive of 25,000+ partner and client organizations, such as pharmaceutical laboratories and pharmacies, serviced by the Apodis Pharma distribution platform.
  • Two archives of products stored in Apodis Pharma client warehouses, containing 17,324,382 entries and 32,960,114 entries each. The archives include product data like product quantities and IDs, as well as warehouse data.
  • An archive of confidential product sales data containing 17,556,928 quarterly entries that includes information such as sales dates, locations, prices, and quantities sold between Apodis Pharma clients like pharmaceutical laboratories and pharmacies.
  • An archive of user data containing 4,436 entries, including full names of people who appear to be Apodis Pharma clients, partners, and employees.
  • Consumer and client data visualizations and analytics, including consumer gender statistics, and presumably confidential client sales and warehouse stocks charts.

Storing confidential client and patient data on a publicly accessible server without any kind of authentication process in place is highly dangerous, especially for organizations related to pharmaceuticals – during a worldwide pandemic.

Who had access to the database?

At the time of writing this report, it is still unclear who had access to the publicly available Apodis Pharma database.

However, the database has already been indexed on at least one popular IoT search engine, which means that there is almost no doubt that the data has been accessed and possibly downloaded by outside parties for potentially malicious purposes.

What’s the impact of the Apodis Pharma leak?

Malicious actors with unauthorized access to this database could cause a lot of damage not only to the clients of Apodis Pharma, but also to untold numbers of unsuspecting patients across France.

  • Attackers could leak the confidential information to severely damage trust in the company, or blackmail Apodis Pharma and its clients by hijacking the database and holding it hostage.
  • Malicious actors with an intention to disrupt the pharmaceutical supply chain in France could meddle with client and patient names, prices, addresses, and product IDs in order to cause widespread confusion, mix-ups, and – potentially – drug shortages across more than 25,000 laboratories, warehouses, and pharmacies across France during a pandemic.
  • Intruders could download the database and sell it to the competitors of Apodis Pharma clients, who would be able to make business decisions based on the confidential information found in the database.

Disclosure

Following our vulnerability disclosure guidelines, we notified Apodis Pharma about the misconfiguration on October 22. However, we received no reply. Our follow-up communications were left unanswered as well. We then reached out to CERT France on October 29 in order to help secure the database. CERT contacted Apodis Pharma and informed the company about the misconfiguration.

However, more than two weeks later, the database was still publicly accessible. For this reason, we reached out directly to Apodis Pharma CTO Mathieu Bolard on November 16, who had the issue fixed the following day.

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