A database aggregating 1.2 billion users’ personal information, such as social networking reports, email addresses and telephone numbers, was found unprotected on a server a month. Up to now, it is not clear how it got there.
The majority of the information was gathered by a company named People Data Labs, said Vinny Troia, chief executive officer of Night Lion Security, which is based in St. Louis. That info is scraped from several sources and marketed as a means to get”70%+ decision makers in the united states, UK and Canada,” according to the corporation’s website.
The unprotected data did not live on a People Data Labs’ server, but instead was on a Google Cloud server, Troia said. Google did not respond to a request for comment about who had been leasing the server.
Sean Thorne, People Data Labs’ co-founder and chief executive officer, said a few, but not all, of the information came from his organization and suspect it had been aggregated by another company merging a variety of data points.
“We are dedicated to ensuring that our bulk data dumps aren’t exposed,” People Data Labs says on its site. “We are extremely sensitive to this and have multiple white-hat partners that are searching the net in a bid to discover vulnerable data collections and clamp down on them until they’re found by nefarious actors.”
The server has since been closed down, ” he said. The FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Troia says he does not know who left the information on this server, saying it may be malicious hackers or Individuals Data Labs’ own clients. He said the discovery of social networking accounts would be especially valuable in the hands of hackers or peddlers of misinformation.
“This is the first time that I have seen mails, names and numbers connected with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub profiles in 1 place,” stated Troia, who describes himself as a cybercrime hunter. “There are no passwords associated with this information, but using a new, fresh pair of passwords is not that exciting anymore. Having all this social networking stuff in one place is a helpful weapon and investigative tool.”