A database with 340 million unique records of American marketing and data aggregation company Exactis have been leaked. The database contains records with information on millions of Americans including their email address, home address, age, interests and habits, and even the age and gender of their children.
Especially disturbing about the database is that Exactis also kept up to 400 specific characteristics on each person. The records contain whether the person smokes, their religion, what kind of pets they have and interests as varied as scuba diving and plus-size apparel. Or Exactis describes it on its website, “Layer on hundreds of selects including demographic, geographic, lifestyle, interests, and behavioral data to target highly specific audiences with laser-like precision.”
The database was discovered by security researcher Vinny Troia from the company Night Lion security. He found the 2 Terabyte large database by searching for specific database software through internet connected device search engine Shodan. The database was publicly accessible at that time. Meanwhile, Troia worked with Exactis and the FBI to protect the database. The FBI will investigate whether others have also accessed the data.
In total 340 million unique records were listed in the database. About 230 million records were about individuals and 110 million about companies. It’s unclear where the data comes from, Exactis claims on its website that it has data on 218 million individuals and 110 million American households.
According to Troia, the database is one of the most extensive data collections on individuals he has ever seen.