Blippy pledges to invest in security in response to the discovery that user credit card numbers had been exposed in Google search results. According to Blippy, the credit card information had been available since February.
Blippy.com is on the lookout for a chief security officer, following a data
leak that exposed some users' credit card numbers.
A social networking site that allows users to share information about their
shopping purchases, Blippy
found itself in the news
the week of April 19 after reports surfaced
that user credit card numbers had inadvertently been exposed for months. In
response, Blippy CEO Ashvin Kumar pledged
that the company would be hiring security staff and investing in security.
According to Kumar, the situation has its roots in what he called a
"technical oversight" by the company back in February. At the time,
raw transaction data appeared within the HTML code on certain Blippy Web
pages for roughly half a day. After realizing the some of the data
the company plugged the leak, he explained.
However, Google crawled and indexed Blippy pages during the half a day the
problem existed, taking a snapshot of the data.
"Though our site has changed considerably since early February, Google's
snapshot of these pages did not update, which effectively extended a half-day
exposure into a three-month exposure," Kumar
"While Google provides Webmasters with tools to remove pages
from its index, we overlooked the fact that Blippy could have been crawled by
Google during the period of the exposure."
The company spent April 23 investigating the situation and working with
Google to remove the search engine snippets and results for the discovered
cards, Kumar explained, adding Google promptly removed the 200 or so URLs.
Initially, it was thought that only four users had been affected by the leak.
When a fifth credit card number was discovered April 24, the company required
Google to remove all snippets and cached pages related to Blippy, Kumar said.
Ultimately, Blippy notified eight users of the data exposure.
"While these users reflect a tiny sliver of our user base, any number
greater than zero is deeply unacceptable to us ... After reaching a resolution,
we spent today working on a go-forward plan to ensure that this never happens
again," Kumar said.
Part one of the plan is to hire a chief security officer and associated
staff. The company also plans to have regular third-party infrastructure and
application security audits, as well as to invest in systems to
"aggressively filter out sensitive information," Kumar said. The
company will also work to control caching of information in search engines and
create a security and privacy center that contains information about what
Blippy is doing to protect users, Kumar said.
"The security of our users is our highest priority," he said.
"If there are additional measures you would like us to take to improve
Blippy's security, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at