An independent computer security researcher uncovered a database filled with voter registration records on 191 million Americans which has been exposed on the open Internet due to an incorrectly configured database, he said on Monday.
The database carries 300 gigabytes of information going as far back as 2000, according to Chris Vickery. Vickery, a tech support specialist from Austin, Texas, said he found the information while looking for information exposed on the Web in a bid to raise awareness of data leaks.
While voter data is typically considered public information, it would be time-consuming and expensive to gather a database of all American voters. A collection of all U.S. voter data could be valuable to criminals looking for lists of large numbers of targets for a variety of fraud schemes.
The leaked information includes each voter’s:
- First, middle and last name
- Home address
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Party affiliation
- Whether the person voted in primary or general elections
Regulations on protecting voter data vary from state to state, with many states imposing no restrictions. California, for example, requires that voter data be used for political purposes only and not be available to persons outside of the United States.