198M affected in largest exposure of voter information: 5 things to know

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An analytics firm the Republican National Committee employed to conduct big data analysis exposed the information of roughly 198 million potential voters, according to The Hill.

Here are five things to know about the exposure.

1. The firm, Deep Root Analytics, housed several databases of potential voter information on an unsecured Amazon cloud account, which could be viewed and downloaded by anyone with the databases web address, without a login or password.

2. Chris Vickery, a researcher with the security firm UpGuard, discovered the information exposure June 12. He said the main database included names, addresses and an "RNC ID" number attached to research on individual voters. One file, for example, contained information about a voter's likely position on 46 political issues, The Hill reports.

3. The files, which were exposed between June 1 and June 14, were secured after Mr. Vickery discovered the breach, according to The Hill. Deep Root Analytics has contracted security firm Stroz Friedberg to investigate the incident.

4. "We take full responsibility for this situation," Deep Root Analytics said in a statement to The Hill. The firm continued, stating, "Deep Root Analytics builds voter models to help enhance advertiser understanding of TV viewership. The data accessed was not built for or used by any specific client. It is our proprietary analysis to help inform local television ad buying."

5. The Deep Root Analytics incident represents the largest exposure of voter information, according to The Hill. The second largest incident exposed the records of 93.4 million Mexican citizens.

Mr. Vickery, who specializes in discovering unsecured online files, told The Hill, "In terms of the disc space used, this is the biggest exposure I've found. In terms of the scope and depth, this is the biggest one I've found."

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