Updated: census.gov data Already available in Public and no data leak involve Census Bureau servers.
A massive database that contains 123 Million American households sensitive personal information leaked online by California-based data analytics firm.
An unsecured cloud-based data repository was left publicly due to the bad misconfiguration in Amazon Web Services S3 cloud storage and the repository are massive data sets belonging to consumer credit reporting agency Alteryx partner Experian.
Along with this, US Census Bureau also providing 2010 US Census data, but US Census.gov responded that “data has already available in public and including already published data from the 2010 Census. The company implicated had no access to PII collected by the Census Bureau, nor did the reported data leak involve Census Bureau servers.”
Experian’s ConsumerView marketing database, a product sold to other enterprises, contains a mix of public details and more sensitive data.
This massive data leak leads to exposing billions of personally identifying details and data points of each and every American households information.
The leaked information contains home addresses and contact information, to mortgage ownership and financial histories, to the very specific analysis of purchasing behavior, the exposed data constitutes a remarkably invasive glimpse into the lives of American consumers.
American Households Leaked Information Storage
A subdomain called “alteryxdownload” belongs to Amazon Web Services S3cloud storage bucket stored all leaked sensitive consumer information.
In this case, AWS S3 bucket configured via permission settings to allow any AWS “Authenticated Users” to download it’s stored data.
so anyone can gain access to this bucket’s contents by simply create a dummy sign-up for an AWS account, using a freshly created email address.
A data field stored with the extension .yxdb that contains 32 GB of data which named as ConsumerView_10_2013 and the “Customer View” field file contains over 123 million rows and every rows contain each one signifying a different American household – a number.
Also, a bucket contains a large number of Alteryx software releases and development files for applications produced by the data firm for its analytics customers.
According to UpGaurd, While each of the tens of millions of rows represents a different US household, the 248 columns cross-indexed compiles each household’s known or modeled personal details, preferences, and behavior across a wide array of categories. With a total of over 3.5 billion fields to be filled with such data points.
Data filed also contains 248 category types which belong to a different type of sensitive information such as address, phone number, location etc.
“The use of “household” as the primary unit of measurement may seem odd, but this is in keeping with the methods used by the US Census Bureau. The Bureau’s 2010 census results are also revealed in the bucket, contained in a self-extracting .exe file. However, unlike the information contained in the Experian ConsumerView data set, the Census information available here is entirely publicly available” UpGaurd said.
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