Recently, a 1.1 TB database leak was found sitting on an Amazon subdomain server which contained in-depth, personal and sensitive information about 198 million American voters. The finding has raised multiple questions about fail-secure measures and the way in which big data analysis is being done and preserved.
A GOP Database Leak
The scandal has sparked a flame in the recent presidential post-campaign and its outcome. The database leak was unsecured on an Amazon subdomain, with the dra-dw subdomain address. And in it were over 50 files each containing sensitive information that pointed towards over half of the registered American voting population.
The discovery was made by Chris Vickery, a cyber risk analyst at UpGuard. On behalf of the discovery, Mike Baukes, chief executive of the cybersecurity firm, states that:
“Every voter in America is potentially in there. The scale of it is just staggering, and the fact that it was left wide open is wholly irresponsible…”
Chris Vickery found, more precisely, spreadsheets containing the accumulated data. Moreover, the file dates and names found within this data repository are largely revolving around the post-election data analytics. These spreadsheets cover an extensive mapping area. They concern stances of voters across a series of issues such as stem cell research, gun possession or the Obama Care Act, among other various topics.
The intricacy of this database leak, however, resides in the nonintervention of the respective regulatory institutions. One reason for being so is that the company that amassed the information, Deep Root Analytics, is one of the GOP’s data firms. And the FTC, the only institution which would otherwise have the legal authority, is in an impossible place of action.
Because of the delicate situation and of the fact that Deep Root Analytics has collaborated in the previous years with the Republican Party and the RNC.
While Deep Root Analytics has an ongoing internal investigation regarding the database leak incident, Chris Vickery has stated that this raises concern on how big data is both aggregated and reviewed. And also points towards the fact that a poor security hygiene is dangerous and can prove to be, ultimately, devastating.
Image Source: betanews.com
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