What you need to know
- An unsecured database reportedly exposed the personal information of more than 200 million Americans.
- The records in the database contained details such as full names, email addresses, credit ratings, detailed mortgage and tax records of the individuals.
- Fortunately, all the data present on the database was wiped by an "unidentified party" on March 3.
According to a report from CyberNews, an unsecured database hosted on the Google Cloud service had exposed the personal information of over 200 million users from the U.S. The database was owned by an unidentified party and had nearly 800GB of personal user information.
While the entire database was wiped on March 3, CyberNews says it isn't clear if any malicious actors or uninstended parties gained access to it before the wipe. Since the database was hosted on a publicly accessible server, however, it would have been fairly easy for anyone to access the data, as long as they knew where to look.
The main folder in the database reportedly contained the following information about the exposed individuals:
• Email addresses • Full names and titles • Phone numbers • Dates of birth • Credit ratings • Home and mortgaged real estate addresses, including their exact locations • Demographics, including numbers of children and their genders • Detailed mortgage and tax records • Detailed data profiles, including information about the individuals' personal interests, investments, as well as political, charitable, and religious donations
CyberNews is speculating that the majority of the data on the main folder may have come from the United States Census Bureau and possibly belonged to a data marketing firm or a credit company. Along with the main folder, the database contained two additional folders that were "seemingly unrelated" to the records in the main folder. The additional two folders contained emergency call logs of a fire department in the U.S. and a list of 74 bike share stations belonging to a bike share program.