When we eventually get to look back on 2016, we might be tempted to label it “The Year of Leaking Voter Lists.”
The year began with many people distraught to learn that a database with voter registration records of 191 million voters had been exposed online. Voter registration lists include name, address, political party, telephone number, and whether the voter voted in the last elections and primaries. It appeared that many Americans never knew that these lists were generally considered public records.
But while they were adjusting to that piece of information, they also learned that there was a second leaking voter database with more than 56 million voter records that exposed not only voter registration data but personal information such as Christian values, bible study, and gun ownership in 19 million profiles.
Both databases had been uncovered by Chris Vickery, a security researcher at the cybersecurity firm MacKeeper. And they were both eventually secured after Chris Vickery, this reporter, and Steve Ragan of CSO began making some phone calls and trying to track down the source of the leaks.