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Huge database of 191 million U.S. voters found on the open Internet

Published Dec 30th, 2015 9:15PM EST

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Personal data belonging to 191 million American voters may have been exposed to hackers who may have been digging for such bulk information online, a recent discovery seems to indicate. According to VentureBeat, a security researcher found the exposed database on the open Internet due to an incorrect configuration. Chris Vickery, a tech support specialist from Austin, Texas, found the database while looking for information exposed on the web to raise awareness about data leaks.

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Vickery recently discovered a similar database security error that allowed him to access over data for over 13 million accounts belonging to paying customers of a shady Mac protection application. The database contains plenty of personal information, including names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations, phone numbers and email addresses for voters in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, and it took over a day to download.

“The alarming part is that the information is so concentrated,” Vickery said.

The information in the database is considered to be public, which means you shouldn’t necessarily be harmed by anyone getting access to it. But a neatly arranged database of this type might still be appealing to hackers looking to target a large number of people with spamming and other online schemes.

It’s not clear who administers the database, but Vickery said he’s working with unidentified agencies to remove it from public view.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.