U.S. travelers who visited Jamaica when the border reopened during the pandemic may have had their data compromised, a new report suggests.
A cloud storage server on Jamaica’s immigration website with private information, including negative COVID test results and immigration records used by the Jamaican government, was compromised and thousands of Americans’ data was exposed, TechCrunch reported.
Passengers at Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica. (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)
(Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)
The Jamaican government reportedly uses an app to record daily coronavirus numbers and lets people input their symptoms via the website JamCOVID19. Another website, for pre-approved travel during the pandemic, was used by incoming travelers who uploaded negative COVID test results before their trips. The sites were built by technology firm Amber Group, who reportedly left the storage server unprotected.
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The server had information on more than 70,000 negative COVID-19 test results, and more than 425,000 immigration documents — including names, dates of birth and passport numbers — that allowed travel to Jamaica, according to the report. In addition, more than 250,000 quarantine orders, from when the country first reopened its borders in June 2020, were reportedly contained on the server, along with more than 440,000 images of people’s signatures.
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“A thorough investigation was immediately initiated to determine if there were any breaches in travelers’ data security if the vulnerability had been exploited and if there was a breach of any laws. At present, there is no evidence to suggest that the security vulnerability had been exploited for malicious data extraction prior to it being rectified,” the Jamaican government said in a statement Wednesday.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have contacted travelers whose data may have been subject to the vulnerability and have assured them that steps have been taken to ensure the integrity and the confidentiality of the data,” the statement continued.
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Amber Group has also built digital travel authorization sites for the British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos and Grenada, The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reported in October, though it’s unclear if any data from those websites was comprised.
Amber Group did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment.