Unknown marketing firm leaks over 300 million personal records

Posted Jun 29, 2018 by Lisa Cumming
A data breach by a marketing firm that leaked 340 million personal records was found by a security researcher earlier this month.
Thomas Samson, AFP/File
The 340-million large breach was reported first by Wired and is said to have happened by the data broker, Exactis, exposing a database containing nearly 340 million individual records on a publicly accessible server.
"What makes the Exactis breach noteworthy is not only for the number of customers impacted, but also for the depth of compromised data. It’s been reported that every record includes more than 400 variables of personal characteristics," said Bruce Silcoff, CEO of blockchain identity solution Shyft, in a release about the incident. "The reality is that we live in a digitized world and all our interactions on social channels are recorded, and this isn’t stopping anytime soon. The centralized storage of user information makes institutions like Exactis hacker bait. Never has there been such urgency nor opportunity to introduce a disruptive alternative to an antiquated system and solve an urgent global problem."
Exactis is a data company based in Palm Beach, Florida and, according to MarketWatch, already has a lawsuit against them filed by Morgan & Morgan as a result of the breach.
Security researcher Vinny Troia was the one who found the breach which, according to Wired, "comprises close to 2 terabytes of data that appears to include personal information on hundreds of millions of American adults, as well as millions of businesses."
The exact number of individuals impacted isn't clear as of right now, and the leak doesn't appear to include SIN numbers or credit cards, but it does list details for individuals like phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and the number, age, and gender of the person's children.