A reported 22,000 card records have been exposed through cached copies of data stored on a defunct cybercrime server.
iTnews in Australia reports that 19,000 of the 22,000 exposed details referred to US and UK cards and that data came from Google cache records of a disused internet payment gateway, a line picked up by Slashdot.
However, a security expert told us the information was actually from either a dump or attack site used for credit card fraud. This cybercrime site, registered by someone in Vietnam, is no longer operational.
The data - viewable through Google cache - includes credit card numbers, expiry dates, names and addresses for accounts held with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Solo and Delta. The information remains available at the time of writing for anyone with the wit to formulate the correct search term.
First spotted by an anonymous Australian, details were posted on a now deleted thread on whirlpool.net.au. Reg readers have since independently located the sensitive information in Google's cache.
"Google can sometimes be a victim of its own effectiveness, having indexed all available content from the criminal's dump server in Vietnam they inadvertently made thousands of UK credit card details available to the casual browser by serving them up from their own cache," explained Rik Ferguson, a security consultant at Trend Micro. "From the moment this content was made public Trend Micro have been working to help Google, over the course of the weekend, to identify and remove all the offending information," he added.
It's not the first time Google's spiders have indexed such sensitive data. In May 2008 net security firm Finjan reported a similar case, where banking login credentials and other data was stored on a crimeware server accessible though Google search queries. ®