Moonpig Flaw Shows Hazards of Poorly Secured Mobile API Code
The customized greeting-card seller suspends services after a developer claims that its mobile APIs allow anyone to request customer details.Customized greeting-card maker Moonpig suspended its mobile services on Jan. 6, after a developer claimed that the company’s poor code security could allow attackers to collect details on millions of users. The security issue apparently occurs in the company’s application programming interface that's used to communicate between Moonpig’s online services and its mobile applications. Because the company does not adequately authenticate requests for customer information, an attacker could merely change the customer ID in any request and get back another customer’s profile, including name, address and birth date, according to Paul Price, the developer who found the issue. “Every API request is like this, there’s no authentication at all and you can pass in any customer ID to impersonate them,” Price stated in a blog post describing the security weakness. “An attacker could easily place orders on other customers accounts, add [or] retrieve card information, view saved addresses, view orders and much more.” The company ignored the issue for 17 months, according to Price, who claims to have originally notified the company in 2013. Yet, within hours of the public disclosure of the code weakness, Moonpig had suspended its mobile services. The company is investigating the issues, according to statements posted on its Web site and Twitter feed.
“We can assure our customers that all password and payment information is and has always been safe,” the company said in a statement. “As a precaution, our Apps will be unavailable for a time whilst we conduct these investigations and we will work to resume a normal service as soon as possible. The desktop and mobile websites are unaffected.”