Scam Of The Week: Your Politics Have Been Breached

Gizmodo reported on a blog post by IT Security company UpGuard which revealed the largest US voter data leak to date.

Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server and was available for 12 days for anyone with the URL.  The 1.1 terabytes of data includes birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers and political views of nearly 62% of the entire US population. UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery discovered Deep Root’s data online last week.

“Voter data on 198 million (yes that’s million) US Citizens was improperly stored and freely available for 12 days on the internet. There has never been a data breach this big. The  information includes birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers, political views, suspected religious affiliations, ethnicities, where they stood on topics like gun control, the right to abortion and stem cell research. 

This type of data can easily be used for nefarious purposes, from identity fraud to harassment or intimidation of people who hold an opposing political view. Worst of all, if bad guys have gotten hold of this data, they can send highly personalized phishing attacks to you, looking like something totally legit.

At this point, from here on out, treat any email you get at the house or the office with a healthy dose of suspicion and ask yourself if it could be a scam. Do not click on links in emails and do not open attachments you did not ask for.  Also, be careful with and phone scammers that seem to know a lot about you. Remember, Think Before You Click!”

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