Data firm working for Trump exposed 198 mn voter files: researchers

June 19, 2017
Researchers at the Upguard consultancy said they had identified the largest known breach of voter data in history

A data analytics firm that worked on the Republican campaign of Donald Trump exposed personal information belonging to some 198 million Americans, or nearly every eligible registered voter, security researchers said Monday.

Researchers at the consultancy Upguard said they discovered a "misconfigured database" containing sensitive personal details of the US voter database operated by Deep Root Analytics and used by the Republican National Committee in the 2016 election campaign.

A blog post by Upguard said the researchers were able to view "names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as data described as 'modeled' voter ethnicities and religions."

The was described as "a treasure trove of political data and modeled preferences used by the Trump campaign," and the discovery offered a rare glimpse into the sophisticated voter targeting efforts used by the Trump camp during the White House race.

Contacted by AFP, Deep Root said in a statement it could not comment on specific clients but that it recently became aware "that a number of files within our online storage system were accessed without our knowledge."

The statement added that the data accessed included "proprietary information as well as voter data that is publicly available and readily provided by state government offices."

"We take full responsibility for this situation," Deep Root said, adding that it was conducting an investigation with outside experts.

The data firm said it was not aware of any parties that accessed this data other than Upguard researcher Chris Vickery.

Upguard said this was the largest known breach of voter data in history and represented the equivalent of 10 billion pages of text.

It said the files offer insights into the strategy used by Trump's to target voters based on "data points" fed into an algorithmic formula.

The exposure "raises significant questions about the privacy and security Americans can expect for their most privileged information," the researchers said.

"It also comes at a time when the integrity of the US electoral process has been tested by a series of cyber assaults against state databases, sparking concern that cyber risk could increasingly pose a threat to our most important democratic and governmental institutions."

Explore further: Researcher finds Georgia voter records exposed on internet

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Jun 19, 2017
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4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 19, 2017
More fake news.

When people like you say "fake news", we know you simply mean "inconvenient news".
5 / 5 (3) Jun 19, 2017
Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee are 2 entirely different entities. A presidential campaign might not need this large a database, but the party certainly would because it's running candidates at all levels of office across the country. In any case I'll be watching this story for further details in the coming weeks.
2.1 / 5 (7) Jun 19, 2017
Talking about fake news, here is just one example of the outlandish news stories that made it into the media last year:
"Trump Camp in Denial"! Hilarious! True story is that Dems and Libs have been in Denial for the last half year.
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 19, 2017
"a number of files within our online storage system were accessed without our knowledge." Liars! Of course, they told the Russians where to find it. Here's your smoking gun for election treason. These people have to stand trial, be convicted, sentenced, and executed. Otherwise, they will do this for every election in America, and Republican thug criminals will rule the world.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Jun 20, 2017
And the trail of screwups just keeps on and on. Whatever these people stick their fingers into they screw up. They always find a way.

Most. Incompetent. President. Ever.
5 / 5 (6) Jun 20, 2017
Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee are 2 entirely different entities. A presidential campaign might not need this large a database, but the party certainly would

I wouldn't go so far as to say 'need'. 'Want', certainly, but not 'need'.

It is just another indication that everyone is being modeled and those models abused to try and manipulate people. When will people (and politicians) learn that data privacy is important? That just because someone can set up databases with people's data that they shouldn't automatically have the right to do so without consent?
5 / 5 (5) Jun 20, 2017
....and now the Russians have a trove of targets to strategically implement some cyber operations

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