Marketing Firm Exactis Exposes 340 Million Data Records in Breach

Exactis exposed 340 million personal records to the internet

Troia, who owns a New York-based security firm, discovered the breach of almost 340 million individual records stored on a publicly accessible server this month. These included phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and other personal characteristics for the names listed, as well as a given person's interests and habits, including the number, age, and gender of a given person's children.

The database did not appear to contain any financial information, Troia said, adding that he contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discovery. Their records were all publicly available and the database was not behind a Firewall.

Exactis is not a company that I had even heard about until today, but apparently, they have probably heard of me. But a lot of them probably aren't as big as what happened with Exactis, a marketing and data aggregation company.

People who take Facebook quizzes to learn about their own personality traits may have unintentionally let anyone on the internet view their Facebook profiles, according to another independent security researcher. Just because Social Security numbers and credit card information weren't exposed doesn't mean individuals aren't at risk for identity theft, CNET reported.

Because Exactis hasn't confirmed the leak, and the data is reportedly no longer accessible, it's hard to know exactly how many people are affected.

There's no way to know if anyone with malicious intent has accessed the database, but Troia says it would be easy for a hacker to do. In April, an unsecured cloud storage repository that contained sensitive information belonging to personal and business data search service LocalBlox was left exposed to the public not only because of a lack of password protection but also because it was publicly downloadable and configured for access via the Internet.

In response to the news, attorneys filed the first class action lawsuit against Exactis over the alleged breach on Friday. It claims to have an email database of 500 million consumer and 16 million business records. "If anybody was looking for it, they could've found it and grabbed the data".

KitGuru Says: This sort of gross negligence is becoming a big problem and it looks like Exactis abandoned its duty of care when it comes to personal records.

Mr Troia unearthed the database using a search tool called Shodan to probe a popular database called ElasticSearch.

The Equifax data breach of 145.5 million people's data included their Social Security numbers, names, birthdates and addresses.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Wired that the information leaked from Exactis could be used to impersonate others.

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