The largest breach of electoral data in the US has taken place with voters information being leaked.
Sensitive information of almost 200 million US citizens has been exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee.
The data was available publicly via an Amazon cloud server which revealed the information of nearly 62% of the US population. Among the 1.1 terabytes of information were birthdays, home addresses, telephone numbers, and political views.
The enormous leak of information was discovered by Chris Vickery, a cyber risk analyst with UpGuard security firm. Information was stored on spreadsheets and uploaded to a server owned by Deep Root Analytics. It had been last updated in January and had been online for an unknown period of time.
Deep Root Analytics' founder, Alex Lundry, stated in an interview with tech site Gizmodo "We take full responsibility for this situation. Based on the information we have gathered thus far, we do not believe that our systems have been hacked. Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access."
Along with personal data, the information also contained citizens' religious affiliations, ethnicity, and political biases such as standings on controversial topics including abortion, gun control, and stem cell research.
It has been deemed that the data was originally meant for influential Republican organizations to create a profile on as many voters with as much information as possible.
In a online post by UpGuard's Dan O'Sullivan "Such an enormous national database could be created and hosted online, missing even the simplest of protections against the data being publicly accessible, is troubling. The ability to collect such information and store it insecurely further calls into question the responsibilities owed by private corporations and political campaigns to those citizen targeted by increasingly high-powered data analytics operations."
It is commonly known that political parties father information on voters however, this in the largest breach of electoral data in the United States to date. The risk of the data being leaked onto the dark web and being used for mischievous purposes is extremely high.