Data collection firm Deep Root Anlytics, hired by the Republican National Committee, publicly and involuntarily publicly exposed nearly 200 million voters, a cybersecurity expert revealed today.
“We assume full responsibility, we will continue our investigation, and based on the information we have so far, we do not believe our systems have been tampered with,” the company said in a statement.
The 1.1 terabyte database contained the names, birthdates, telephones, and voting profiles of 198 million Americans, almost all of the nation’s eligible voters.
The information was in Amazon’s cloud service and could be reviewed without a password or access filter.
Deep Root collaborated in the 2016 election with Data Trust, the RNC-designated company to coordinate voter information gathering, to shape voter profile according to 2008 and 2016 results.
The failure was discovered by Chris Vickery, a researcher at cyber-security firm UpGuard, who highlighted the magnitude of the information exposed by assuring that “in terms of breadth and depth, this is the biggest exposure I’ve come across.”
“With this data you can target neighborhoods, individuals, people of all kinds of beliefs. It could give the address of all the people the RNC believes voted for [President Donald] Trump,” Vickery told The Washington Post.
This revelation comes at a time of great concern about the vulnerability of computer systems in the US, and open research into the possible interference of Russian hackers in the 2016 elections.