California Joins US Voter Breach Investigation

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Probe begins after a database of confidential US voter information was published online

A potentially significant data breach has occurred in the United States, after reports suggest that 191 million confidential voter records have been publicly posted online.

The database of information about American voters was apparently discovered on a publicly available Web server.

Voter Information

The discovery was made by security researcher Chris Vickery, who shared his findings with Databreaches.net.

dropbox box leak storage security breach © higyou ShutterstockVickery discovered that a ‘misconfigured database’ had exposed more than 191 million US voter records. The data included the first and last name of the voter, their home and mailing addresses, as well as date of birth, gender, ethnicity, telephone number, email addresses etc. It even included voters state voter ID, party affiliations, and the person’s voting history since 2000.

But it seems that no social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or any financial information was released.

“On December 20, researcher Chris Vickery contacted DataBreaches.net to say he had found a database with 191,337,174  million Americans’ voter information exposed due to a misconfiguration of the database,” reported DataBreaches.net.

It then went on to try and track down how this information came to be published online.

“Based on preliminary investigation by Vickery and DataBreaches.net of some data field labels that looked like they might be unique or proprietary, DataBreaches.net reached out to Nation Builder, the online service of 3dna, to inquire if the database was one of their databases or if it might be one of their clients’ databases,” said DataBreaches.net.

Nation Builder denied it was them, saying the IP address was not one of their IP addresses.

California Investigates

DataBreaches.net contacted the FBI, as well as the California Attorney General’s Office.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Tuesday that his office was working to verify claims that confidential voter information had been exposed on the Internet, according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

Padilla said the records were not posted by the California Secretary of State, and that he was collaborating with Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office to provide any necessary assistance.

This US voter disclosure is the latest in a long line of data breaches in 2015.

Just before Christmas for example, video live streaming platform Livestream emailed its customers to warn them of a possible data breach.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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