Researchers: Millions of detailed voter records found unprotected on the internet


The personal information of nearly all of America’s 200 million registered voters was left unprotected in an online database discovered last week by a cybersecurity firm in what the company described as the “largest known data exposure of its kind.”

>> Read more trending news

The database, owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, voter registration details and “data described as ‘modeled’ voter ethnicities and religions,” according to UpGuard, the firm that uncovered the information.

“Along with home addresses, birth dates and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on hot-button issues such as gun ownership, stem cell research and the right to abortion, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity,” reported Gizmodo, which also reviewed the data.

In all, it encompassed 1.1 terabytes of information covering 198 million potential voters.

"With this data, you can target neighborhoods, individuals, people of all sorts of persuasions," Chris Vickery, the UpGuard cyber risk researcher who discovered the database, told The Washington Post. "I could give you the home address of every person the RNC believes voted for Trump."

Vickery found the database while searching for vulnerable data sources online as part of his job. It was not clear whether anyone other than Vickery downloaded the information, or how long it was online and unprotected.

"What is alarming about this now is that I believe it's the first time RNC IDs and model data have been exposed," veteran GOP political data strategist Matt Oszcowski told The Post. "This is not just a list of people; this is unique proprietary information which gives away (Republican) strategy and informs on targeting and methodology."

In a statement released to Gizmodo, Deep Root founder Alex Lundry said the company took responsibility for the mistake and said it happened when the company updated its security settings on June 1. Vickery found the information on June 12.

“Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access,” Lundry told Gizmodo. “Based on the information we have gathered thus far, we do not believe that our systems have been hacked.”

Read more on UpGuard.com


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Largest asteroid ever tracked may be visible with binoculars as it passes close to Earth
Largest asteroid ever tracked may be visible with binoculars as it passes close to Earth

It will be hard to beat Monday’s eclipse, but if you’re now hooked on stargazing, a huge asteroid will appear as a slow-moving star as it passes by Earth in the next couple of weeks. Asteroid 3122 Florence is the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth since the first near-Earth asteroid was discovered over a century ago, according...
Officer pulls over a 13-year-old driving car, discovers 25 pounds of meth
Officer pulls over a 13-year-old driving car, discovers 25 pounds of meth

A 13-year-old was pulled over by police and the officer discovered he was driving 25 pounds of methamphetamine on the interstate. The Denver Post reported that the deputy is a member of the Western Colorado Drug Task Force.  The teen was traveling with German Michel-Arreola, 22, and Irene Michel-Arreola, 19, near Fruita, Colorado, according...
One of R. Kelly’s alleged ‘cult’ victims violated her nondisclosure agreement to speak out
One of R. Kelly’s alleged ‘cult’ victims violated her nondisclosure agreement to speak out

In July, R. Kelly was accused of keeping women against their will and forcing them to follow every one of his rules or face physical punishment. On Tuesday, one of his alleged victims spoke out to BuzzFeed News. Few of the women who were in the “cult” have come forward because they reportedly signed nondisclosure agreements in exchange...
Piglets that were saved from fire served for dinner at fire station
Piglets that were saved from fire served for dinner at fire station

Pigs that were rescued from certain death in a February barn fire ended up returning as sausages six months later to the firefighters who rescued them. A farm manager in Wiltshire, England, thought that giving the Pewsey fire department the free food was a way of saying thanks. "I gave those animals the best quality of life I could ever give until...
FedEx truck delivers marijuana to home during drug bust, police say
FedEx truck delivers marijuana to home during drug bust, police say

Police in Oklahoma made an arrest in a big drug trafficking bust Tuesday. Dustin Drank, 35, was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police said they found 76 pounds of marijuana and $19,000 in “drug proceeds” at two residences in the area.   As the bust was happening, a FedEx truck delivered boxes to a house  that were also...
More Stories