Once again a MongoDB poorly configurated exposed million records, once again data of voters are left accessible online. This time, the popular researcher Chris Vickery has discovered on Amazon’s AWS online a 132 GB database containing 93.4 million Mexican voter records. The archive went online for at least eight days after Vickery discovered it.
The bad news is that the database was set for a public access since September 2015.
Another element to consider is that Under Mexican law, voters’ data are classified as “strictly confidential” and their unauthorized extraction could be punished with a penalty of up to 12 years in prison.
Vickery, who worked with Salted Hash and Databreaches.net, discovered the MongoDB archive on April 14, but as he explained, it was difficult to track down the responsible for the accidental leaks despite he reported the issue to the U.S. State Department and to the Mexican Embassy.
“There was no password or authentication of any sort required. It was configured purely for public access. Why? I have no clue.” states the post published by Chris Vickery.
“After reporting the situation to the US State Department, DHS, the Mexican Embassy in Washington, the Mexican Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE), and Amazon, the database was finally taken offline April 22nd, 2016.”
Giving a close look at the records in the archive, the expert discovered it contains all of the information that Mexican citizens need for their government-issued photo IDs that allow them to vote.
The records include the voter’s name, home address, birthdate, national identification numbers, and other info.
The Mexican Elections Commissioner has confirmed the authenticity of the information included in the archive.
Despite the database was pulled offline earlier this morning, it isn’t clear who accessed it.
“The Mexican Elections Commissioner has confirmed that the database is authentic. The data is now secured but the real question is who else had access to this sensitive information, and who put it on a US-based Amazon cloud server?” said Vickery.
The last time data was available online it was in the hands of a US company.
“Under Mexican law this data is strictly confidential, carrying a penalty of up to 12 years in prison for transfer or extraction for personal gain. The Mexican Elections Commissioner has confirmed that the database is authentic. The data is now secured but the real question is who else had access to this sensitive information, and who put it on a US-based Amazon cloud server?” said Vickery.
Vickery explained that in 2003, data broker ChoicePoint was commissioned by the U.S. government to obtain more than 65 million records on registered Mexican voters, and six million drivers in Mexico City.
(Security Affairs – MongoDB , Mexican voter records)