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A data contractor working on behalf of the Republican National Committee earlier this month allowed the personal data of 198 million voters to be exposed online, marking the largest ever leak of voter data in history, according to the cybersecurity firm that discovered the incident.
Deep Root Analytics left 1.1 terabytes of sensitive information — including names, home addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and voter registration information — on a publicly accessible Amazon Web Server, according to UpGuard.
The data, which was compiled during the 2016 presidential cycle by DRA and two other firms — Target Point Consulting and Data Trust — included modeled ethnicities and religions.
The previous record for a voter data leak was the exposure of 100 million records in Mexico, UpGuard reported.
Deep Root acknowledged that “a number of files” within its storage system had been accessed but claimed that the exposed database had not been built for any specific client. Rather, it was the firm’s “proprietary analysis” meant for television advertising purposes.
The information accessed consisted of voter data that already was publicly available and readily provided by state government offices, Deep Root maintained.
Nevertheless, it took steps to prevent further access and took “full responsibility” for the breach.
Deep Root Analytics uses standard industry protocols and last updated its security settings on June 1, it said. However, access was gained through a change in access settings on that same date.
Although the company does not believe it was hacked, it has hired an outside cybersecurity…