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A misconfigured database exposed the records of more than 2.9 million Louisiana voters, according to MacKeeper Security Research Center.
The database contained the names, addresses, phone numbers, and political affiliations of 2,919,651 Louisiana voters. The data appears to have to have originated from a digital tool for political campaign operations; the records reference a “walk list order,” an attribute likely used by campaigns for canvassing (door-to-door voter interaction).
It’s unclear to whom the leaky database belonged. A description of the attributes—others include sex, race, as well as a field marked “last voted”—appear on the website of the Louisiana Secretary of State, but are likely instructions accompanying a widely used campaign platform.
“The price for buying voter data comes out at $0.01 per name on the list.”
A search of roughly 5,000 sample entries revealed the database contained records from as late as February of this year. A Daily Dot reporter attempted on Thursday to contact 20 voters whose information had been leaked; of the two people who answered the phone, only one would confirm her identity. Ten of the numbers were no longer in service.
The woman who spoke to the Daily Dot said there were reasons she didn’t want people to know where she lived, and that she was troubled to learn her personal information was available to anyone online.
MacKeeper also reported the leak of a second database on Friday, which was hosted on the same IP, and may have originated with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.
“Another database hosted on the same ip was named ‘ladps’ and contained 6,978,508 records. We can only guess that it attributes to ‘Department of Public Safety”, since the following categories were presented in database: Full Name, Residence Address, Race, Sex, DOB, Height, Weight, Residence Parish code, Driving License Number, SSN code (but not the SSN itself), and issue number. The total count of records in that one leads us to believe that it corresponds to the demographics of Louisiana.”
MacKeeper added it was “shocked” to discover that Louisiana voter data is essentially up for sale to anyone willing to pay for it:
“You do not even need to prove that you will use it for political purposes, research or any related election purpose. Louisiana’s system gives you the option of choosing past or present voters and you separate by various demographics (gender, race etc.), specify the party of your choice. The price for buying voter data comes out at $0.01 per name on the list.”
Contact the author: Dell Cameron, [email protected]
Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.