Nissan Source Code Leaked Online in 2021: What You Need to Know
Nissan, one of the largest automakers in the world, hit the news in 2021 when the company’s source code was leaked online after an apparent misconfiguration of a Bitbucket Git server.
The incident raised concerns about the security of the manufacturer’s systems and the potential impact on its customers.
The leak was discovered by Swiss-based software engineer Tillie Kottmann, who received a tip about Nissan’s Git server.
Kottmann analyzed the data and found that the repository contained the source code of various Nissan mobile apps, parts of the Nissan ASIST diagnostics tool, the Dealer Business Systems/Dealer Portal, Nissan internal core mobile library, Nissan/Infiniti NCAR/ICAR services, and client acquisition and retention tools.
- Nissan’s source code for various mobile apps and internal tools was leaked online due to a misconfiguration of a Bitbucket Git server.
- Concerns about the security of Nissan’s systems and the potential impact on customers.
- The incident has highlighted the need for preventive measures to be taken in the auto industry to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“2021’s Nissan Source code leak underscores the critical importance of robust security measures in today’s digital age. The breach serves as a stark reminder that no organization is immune to cyber threats, and even one vulnerability can lead to significant consequences.
It’s imperative for companies to adopt a proactive, holistic approach to cybersecurity, focusing on not just prevention but also rapid detection and response to mitigate potential damage.”
The Nissan Data Leak: What Happened?
In January 2021, it was reported that several code repositories from Nissan North America became public after the company left an exposed Git server protected with default access credentials.
The leak was discovered by Swiss software engineer Tillie Kottmann, who received a tip about Nissan’s Git server after finding a similarly misconfigured GitLab server in May 2020 that leaked the source code of various Mercedes Benz apps.
The Nissan data leak included the source code of various Nissan NA mobile apps, some parts of the Nissan ASIST diagnostics tool, the Dealer Business Systems/Dealer Portal, Nissan internal core mobile library, Nissan/Infiniti NCAR/ICAR services, and client and market research tools.
Kottmann analyzed the data and shared it on their GitLab account, making it accessible to anyone on the internet.
The leak occurred because Nissan reportedly used “admin” as both the username and password for their Git server, which is a common mistake that can easily be exploited by hackers.
The leak exposed sensitive information about Nissan’s internal systems which, in the wrong hands, could be used to launch attacks against the company or its customers.
Nissan reportedly conducted an immediate investigation regarding improper access to proprietary company source code.
The Data Leak's Impact on Nissan
The leaked source code of Nissan North America’s mobile apps and internal tools is a major security breach that can have serious consequences for the company. The leak was caused by a misconfigured Git server that was left exposed on the internet with its default username and password combo of admin/admin. The server was discovered by Swiss-based software engineer Tillie Kottmann, who also found a similarly misconfigured GitLab server that leaked the source code of various Mercedes Benz apps and tools.
In addition to Nissan’s internal investigation the leak caused significant damage to the company’s reputation.
Nissan's Source Code: What Was Leaked
According to Kottmann, the leaked Git repository contained the following source code:
- Nissan NA Mobile apps
- Some parts of the Nissan ASIST diagnostics tool
- The Dealer Business Systems / Dealer Portal
- Nissan internal core mobile library
- Nissan/Infiniti NCAR/ICAR services
- Client acquisition and retention tools
- Market research tools
- Data assets
To summarize the above, the leaked source code includes sensitive information such as API keys, credentials, and other proprietary data.
Who is Responsible for the Nissan Data Leak?
The responsibility for the leaked Nissan source code lies with the company itself. There’s no hiding that.
The misconfiguration of the Git server was due to the default admin/admin username and password combination being left in place.
This is a common mistake that can be easily avoided by changing the default login credentials.
It is unclear if any malicious actors have accessed the leaked source code, but the potential for harm is significant.
While the company closed ranks after the leak, the expert view is that Nissan likely took stepsto mitigate the potential harm caused by the leak. This will typically include identifying any vulnerabilities in its systems and implementing measures to prevent future leaks.
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