It was reported yesterday that earlier this month, Exactis, a data broker based in Florida, had exposed a database containing nearly 340 million individual records on a publicly accessible server. The nearly 2 terabytes of data appears to include the personal information of hundreds of millions of American adults and millions of businesses. The leak doesn’t appear to contain any credit card information or social security numbers. It does however go into some detail for each individual listed, including phone numbers, home and email addresses, and other personal characteristics.
Commenting on this, Gary McGraw, vice president of security technology at Synopsys, said “The biggest concern about this data is the “Cambridge Analytica problem.” This leak happens just before the midterm elections and provides tons of data for shenanigans of the sort that the Russians pulled off in 2016.
“Big data makes peoples’ hot button issues, psychological needs, and paranoid delusions into weapons to attempt to destroy democracy. Data aggregators aggregate data. They want to keep it for themselves so it is valuable. It is in their economic interest (and existential interest) not to let it leak.”