A team of Israeli security researchers has discovered a massive unprotected database with the full names, gender, ages, income brackets and marital status on more than 80 million U.S. households. But researchers can’t identify the owner of this database, which is hosted by a Microsoft cloud server. It includes a cache of 24GB of data. The database was available online until Monday and required no password to access.
The cache of demographic information included data about adults aged 40 and older. Many people listed are elderly, which Rotem said could put them at risk from scammers tempted to use the information to try to defraud them.
It’s suspected that the database is owned by an insurance, healthcare, or mortgage company, although information you’d expect to find in a database owned by brokers or banks is missing. There are no policy or account numbers, Social Security numbers, or payment types among the data.
Unlike a hack, you don’t need to break into a computer system to access an exposed database. You simply need to find the IP address, the numerical code assigned to any given web page. There’s no indication, though, that the information in this database was accessed by cybercriminals CNET reports.