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The personal information of millions of U.S. voters leaked online

Cybersecurity researcher discovers an unsecured online database of 191 million American voters.
Cybersecurity researcher discovers an unsecured online database of 191 million American voters.

Sometimes, even major world powers need a disaster recovery plan.

According to the cybersecurity site CSO, cybersecurity researcher Chris Vickery discovered a public database containing the information of 191 million U.S. voters. Included in the database is the voter's name, home and mailing addresses, unique and state voter IDs, gender, date of birth, phone number, date of voter registration, political affiliation and voter history since 2000.

Though Vickery didn't specify where the list was found or who compiled it, he did say that it was not protected by any security measures and, as of the publication of the article on December 28, remains live.

It isn't clear at this point what states were impacted by the list. Both the FBI and Internet Crime Complaint Center were notified of the list following its discovery.

If accurate, the list potentially contains every registered voter in the country. According to research by The Verge, U.S. Census records from last year state that there are 142.2 million registered voters in the country. The Verge explained that the discrepancy is likely from a combination of duplicate registrations, voters moving from one state to another and deaths prior to 2014.

Despite the lack of public knowledge over the source of the list, voter data, in general, lacks the security measures that type of information may warrant. Though the information may not seem that significant, it can easily be used as a cross reference to discover other, more valuable information, like Social Security numbers or credit card information, and can be used as a basis for phishing attacks.

Situations like this showcase the importance of having a robust disaster recovery plans. To find help develop a plan for your business, consider seeking the advise of a disaster recovery planning consultant.