Poorly Protected Voter Database Puts Citizens Personal Details at Risk
Anybody who, over the last fifteen years, might've cast a vote for a United States general election is highly likely to have his/her personal details exposed on the Internet. That's because the database's security was poorly protected. The discoverer of this unprotected database on 20th December was tech expert Chris Vickery based in Austin. The database of more than 300GB contains details of voters like full names, e-mail ids, home addresses, voter IDs, telephone numbers, ethnicity, party affiliations, amongst others. Luckily the data doesn't contain any financial information, drivers' license codes or Social Security Numbers. Softpedia.com posted this, December 29, 2015.
Now in USA, there are separate laws and rules for the majority of states. So, who's entitled for reading the database, which sort of details are collected, and which kind of data can be let to go public, all are controlled. Within certain states, all voter details are public records with the exception of a few items that law protects, like in Ohio, authorities post voter records on the Net. For other states, it's slightly challenging to acquire voter records alternatively they might be outright costly; however, even then they are available. Usually, voter data can be used only for non-commercial purposes.
Also in U.S., it's usual practice for states to compile data of voters that's subsequently collated and presented before political parties, law enforcement, journalists, scholars, non-profit organizations, and other authorized entities.
Right now, it's not clear who's behind the database leakage, however, investigation is going on by Salted Hash's Steve Ragan and Vickery of DataBreaches.net. Although driving license numbers and SSNs haven't got exposed, still the leakage is one severe problem.
A particularly worrying fact is that voter data, which got exposed, continues to be on the Internet, with no way for perceiving if con artists have grabbed the data alternatively it has by now got exploited. The Office of Attorney General in California along with Federal Bureau of Investigation of New York field office as well as Internet Crime Complaint Center have all gotten reported; however, at present there aren't any update regarding if databases' security has made any progress.
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