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Experian Database on 120 Million People Sat Open on Amazon Site, Forbes Says

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By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:42 PM

An Experian database containing a detailed trove of personal information on more than 120 million people sat open on an Amazon website, Forbes magazine reported on Tuesday.

Experian is one of a handful of giant consumer credit reporting agencies that collect and aggregate information on over one billion people and businesses, similar to Equifax which recently suffered a massive data breach.

Information spreading across 248 different data fields for each U.S. household was contained in the exposed Experian database left open and vulnerable earlier this month to be retrieved by anyone with the URL and simple account info, Forbes said.

Forbes reported the breach was discovered by Chris Vickery, a cybersecurity researcher from UpGuard, who came across the data in an Amazon Web Services storage “bucket” and it appeared the data was left out in the open by marketing analytics company Alteryx.

According to Vickery, Alteryx likely purchased the information from Experian’s ConsumerView database, and was part of a product, the Alteryx Designer With Data.

According to Alteryx, the Experian ConsumerView provides “consumer demographics, life event, direct response, property, and mortgage information for more than 235 million consumers and 113 million households.”

The company markets the service and says, “At the household level, you can append data such as mail order buyer preferences, mortgage/home purchase details, median family income, estimated income, dwelling type, and presence of children under 18. And, at the individual level, you can analyze potential consumers based on marital status, gender, education, and occupation group.”

Vickery alerted Alteryx to the open data and the company acted last week, Forbes said.

A spokesperson told Forbes, "Alteryx secured the bucket, removed the file and has taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Alteryx confirmed that the file contained no names of any individuals or any other personal identifying information.”

Alteryx claimed the information in the file “does not pose a risk of identity theft to any consumers,” but Vickery said he was able to link the information to individuals quite easily.

The incident comes on the heels of the Equifax security breach that saw hackers tap into the major credit bureaus’ website and access its records for 143 million U.S. citizens, End Gadget reported.

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An Experian database containing a detailed trove of personal information on more than 120 million people sat open on an Amazon website, Forbes magazine reported on Tuesday.
experian, database, 120 million people, amazon, forbes
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2017-42-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:42 PM
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