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Personal data on 93 million Mexican voters was leaked online

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April 25, 2016

It's reported today that personal data on about 93 million Mexican voters has been leaked online apparently due to a lack of passwords in a database.

To be exact, voter records were exposed as the result of a configuration error in a MongoDB database that meant the information was left accessible by anyone who knew where to look.

Hosted on Amazon AWS, the database included voters' names, addresses, ID numbers, dates of birth, parents’ names, occupations and a lot more personal data.

The exposure was discovered by security researcher Chris Vickery. No password or authentication mechanism of any kind had been required to access the database, said Vickery.

He added that he discovered the security issue on Thursday, April 14. The database was immediately pulled offline last week after Vickery notified the Mexican election authorities and Amazon, a process that was less than straightforward, we are told.

Databreaches.net has more on the security incident and the reaction from the Instituto Nacional Electoral, the Mexican election Authority, which has reportedly begun a criminal probe into the exposure of personal voter data.

In December of last year, Vickery also discovered another database with 191 million U.S. voter records. That data was a matter of public record, though it was not supposed to be accessible without proper clearance.

Even though it's smaller in terms of number of records, the Mexico security breach is far worse because of the sensitivity of the data exposed.

That security incident follows a similar one on the other side of the world, when stolen voter information from 55 million Philippine citizens made its way into a fully searchable website set up by hackers, security firm Malwarebytes reported.

The mere exposure of private and sensitive data by governments in general is bad news for citizens because it leaves people more exposed to phishing and identity theft, among other serious issues.

Source: Chris Vickery.

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