There has not been an update on this blog for more than a year. I do not apologize, this is the way i have set my priority.

In fact, during the past years i’ve gradually defined my priority for a given point in time and within the bigger picture; creating blog posts almost nobody will read has not been part of that. At this point i decided to create some content again, because i think there are things worth sharing.

Interestingly enough to learn for someone who is not a native speaker, there has not been a plural form of “priority” in the english language for centuries. Just some decades ago people decided that one priority is not enough and there need to be more priorities to help organize our routine. Thats bullshit.

I am convinced that people can excel at one thing at a time, never at a couple of things in parallel. There has been the idea that people, and women in particular, would be able to “multi-task”, like a modern computer. Being familiar with computer technology i can confirm that there are actually very few real-world applications that inherently benefit from multi-tasking without being optimized for it. Some even suffer from it, and usually there is no need to do “real” multi-tasking. Instead, computers execute things that depend on each other sequentially, but very efficient.

Indeed there are applications where parallel processing can be used to realize huge benefits, but very often just for tasks that have no dependency on each other. Individual tasks may benefit from experience gained through a previous, maybe similar, task. Our modern lives do not have many equally important things to care about at the same time, they rather depend on each other and improvement is based on evolution, experience. This of course requires to select truly important things, otherwise we drown in trivial tasks.

Some of the computer performance gains we see during the past years are based on “speculative execution” which is not only dangerous (when done wrong) but which also does not scale in the real world where lifetime is limited and more precious than a couple of wasted CPU cycles. Having ten priorities as a person can be very similar to speculative execution since we did not care about selecting our priority before. For machines the penalty may be acceptable, for people i think it is devastating in the long run.

This is in fact much closer to reality than what someone would understand as “priorities”. Especially in business there is a competition for having as many priorities as possible to show how important a set of things is. Typical sentences i hear are “these are our top 10 priorities”, “our company strategy aims for three goals” - if everything is a priority, nothing is. This just show that someone was unwilling or unable to make tough decisions. An artisan, say a blacksmith, excels in performing his craft of making blades. He may totally suck in personal finance or driving a car. This is fine because we live in a society where labor is divided between people. Nobody has to be great in more than one thing to succeed. If you make the best blades in the world you can hire someone to drive you around or care about finance.

Sure, this does not mean we’re all meant to have singular talent, it just means we need to get our priority straight to reach our goal. This priority might shift over time, our blacksmith might have been focusing on mastering to drive a car for a couple of months, then get his finances in order and finally becoming a master of craftsmanship. If he or she would have opted for many priorities at the same time, chances are that the result would not be as great, it would have taken longer to achieve a satisfying result and stress would be immense. There are almost 8 billion people on this planet which get closer connected to each other every day and life expectancy has skyrocketed, it’s absurd to think one person requires to focus on ten things simultaneously. This issue of resource allocation has been solved by the free market for a long time.

Very often the situation of facing ten equally important tasks is based on failed planning or incorrect assessment. Having “many priorities” is a result of not saying “no” or “yes, but later” to something which is not the most important thing at a given time. When doing proper evaluation almost always one thing will qualify as “the priority”. This evaluation may take some time and force us to be realistic about capabilities - but it saves us a lot of trouble in the long run. Nobody will care or judge if a task was performed simultaneously or sequentially. In most cases it’s about the quality of the result or economic value rather than “how” something was achieved. I am convinced to achieve much more throughput and recognition when truly focusing on one thing at a time.

As an engineer i create systems to do things efficiently and reproducibly. This may take some time but once the system is built it helps to offload things that i then don’t have to actively care about - spend very little time on the actual operation but care about results and optimize. Over time this means large quantities of tasks become automated to a point where they “just happen” and i step in if something breaks. Creating those systems, not only in a technical sense, has been my priority for the past couple of months. I realized that if i don’t clearly set and own my priority, someone or something else will dump their priorities on me - but under their conditions and at for their gain, not mine. This had profound result on many things i do (or don’t do) as part of my daily life.

While writing this about twenty people messaged, mailed or tried to call me with things that are probably irrelevant. I think about it as “Schrödinger’s Mail” - it’s not my priority until i decide to read it. Reading it has not been my priority for the past hour and nobody will care. As a result i managed to create a new blog post after more than a year of not starting with a single sentence. How’s that for proving a point?

Looks like they finally managed to solve the vulnerability. As far as i can see the shop system has been replaced or migrated with the one in use at their US and international shops. Apparently the old system was broken by design and beyond fixing. Great to know that issue is solved now, very sad to known that it took about a year and no mitigations were applied.

“7 for all mankind” (7FAM) is a California based brand that sells premium denim wear world-wide. Besides less severe issues with their online shop, they expose sensitive information about their clients like addresses, phone numbers and order details publicly. The flaw was found by chance while using their online shop as a customer.

I will not take credit for any fancy research, anyone could have found this - starting with 7FAM testers, operators and auditors. The overall experience with this case makes it very clear to me that there are no business processes in place to avoid and handle incidents like this. The company appears to primarily consist of marketing, sales and customer service. I run a bug bounty program myself and don’t expect response times like an IT company that deals with vulnerabilities on a daily basis. However, the actual response besides “oh, thats unfortunate” was effectively zero. I don’t blame people for doing their jobs but i am very disappointed by the organization failing to create any awareness.


7FAM was informed back in November of 2017 and I offered to pinpoint and eventually stop the leak. Although communicating on multiple channels i never got any response indicating that someone takes action or at least cares about the topic. Apparently protecting customer data and IT systems in general has no priority for 7FAM and their security strategy is to kick the can down the road. Since the issue was reported half a year ago and is trivial to find, i decided to publish information although the issue is not fixed to date.

My hope is to get the attention of someone within the organization to take this serious since bad guys have or will potentially discover this flaw anyway. At the same time i feel sorry for those individuals which data got exposed by a weak security concept and even worse “management” by 7FAM. At several occasions i mentioned that i will publish this issue six WEEKS after calling it in. Now, after six MONTHS i run out of patience.

Disclosure timeline

  • 2017-11-25 Discovery of the flaw, created demo script
  • 2017-11-25 Attempt to established contact (Mail) no response
  • 2017-11-27 Attempt to established contact (Twitter) no response
  • 2017-11-28 Attempt to established contact (Contact Form) no response
  • 2017-11-28 Attempt to established contact (Website Chat) no response
  • 2017-11-28 Attempt to established contact (LinkedIN) no response
  • 2017-11-28 Attempt to established contact (Facebook Messenger) no response
  • 2017-12-01 First response by 7FAM via Facebook Messenger, rather useless
  • 2017-12-11 More useless responses via Twitter
  • 2017-12-16 Telephone call with customer service
  • 2017-12-17 Several E-Mails to a address given to me, no response
  • 2018-01 Many more E-Mails with customer service, got responses but no action was taken


When you order something at 7FAM online shop, you create an account, set a password and get access to your customer area. Then when purchasing, you get a mail confirmation and later on a receipt with a link to an invoice. Your order appears to be safely accessible through your customer area, however this is not the whole story.

For whatever reason, 7FAM undermines their “customer area” and offers a PDF version of each invoice without authentication. I noticed this when clicking the “download PDF invoice” link at their mails and wondered: “Wait a minute, i logged out - why can i still access my invoice?”

Taking a deeper look made it clear that the “Download invoice” link does not contain any one-time token and not even a pseudo-random path which would make it harder to guess. In fact, every invoice gets an identifier and - yes you have guessed correct - this is an incrementing number.

Now the fun part starts, its not just my invoice which i can access, but rather every invoice of each online purchase made at their european online store since 2011. Ugh! Needless to say that there is no rate limit, expiration or other countermeasure to slow down access to invoices.

So i wrote a script and tried some combinations of identifiers. I ended up with a list of all valid countries and range of invoices. In total, 7FAM publishes about 250.000 invoices.

Playing with numbers

A typical 7FAM order ID looks like 700012345 - sorry Ruth, please complain at 7FAM.

The first part 70 is static and identifies the country at which the purchase was made, for example:

  • 70 (Germany)
  • 60 (UK)
  • 11 (France)

The second part 0012345 is the unique and incrementing order identifier.

When downloading the invoice, a URL like this is called:

As a fun fact HTTPS is used to secure data in transit, which is completely useless since there is no authentication. At least we can be sure that the invoice originates from the advertised source :-D

There are plenty of unprotected invoices out there, judging from the last valid invoice ID.

Country Amount
Germany 75.000
United Kingdom 63.000
Netherlands 32.000
Belgium 21.000
France 14.000
Italy 6.000
Ireland 1.500
Spain 1.000
Total 231.500+


Now, asking the obvious: what could someone do with this? Such invoices contain personal information like address, phone numbers, payment and shipping data, gender, body metrics and financial capabilities. Taking the typical demography of 7FAM customers into account, this makes the leaked data very valuable for unsolicited advertising, data validation, data enrichment, identity theft, harassment and stalking. This flaw also provides insights to internal 7FAM sales metrics for the region.

One aspect is really ugly, which is stalking. There are a lot of sick fucks out there that would really like to get a list of wealthy women around them that wear size 27 skinny jeans. 7FAM just provides them this data and they even get a phone number on top. I’m quite sure 7FAM customers would agree that this is a major breach.

Despite being mentioned multiple times during conversations with 7FAM, their “Internal IT Team” did not ever contact me. Interestingly enough my requests to help and provide details were shut down with “IT is working on it” nonetheless. It’s beyond my imagination what they were working on while apparently not knowing anything about the leak.

This whole process is a sad prime example for how NOT to handle security incidents. Such things will not just go away and rejecting help without having any information at hand is rather pointless. Denial will not get you anywhere, its all about having the right means, knowledge and awareness within your organization. Not just because GDPR tells you to…

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