Tech support specialist Chris Vickery said that he uncovered a database with the names, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates, and more of about 191 million voters which was exposed to the open internet. He said it was open due to a mistake in the way the database information was configured.
The database also included party affiliations and emails of voters in every one of the 50 states and Washington, DC.
Vickery, an independent researcher of computer security in Austin, Texas, said that he uncovered the information while tracking down different kinds of information which is exposed on the web. He was hoping to raise awareness of the problem of data leaks.
The database took about one day to download. Vickery said he could not tell if anyone else had looked in the database. Most of the data is considered in the public domain. The danger lies in the fact that so much useful information is all gathered together in one easily accessible place. This cache of voter data could be useful, and highly valuable, to criminals who might be looking for large lists of potential targets of all kinds of fraud schemes.
“The alarming part is that the information is so concentrated,” Vickery said.