A database of 93.4 million Mexican voters, containing a lot of sensitive information including ID numbers and home addresses was found online, unlocked and available to everyone.
The database was uncovered by security researcher Chris Vickery, known for finding open databases containing private and classified information using the Shodan search engine.
“We’re talking about names, home addresses, birthdates, a couple of national identification numbers, and a few other bits of info,” he said.
Vickery discovered the database on April 14 and notified the authorities, including the US State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Mexican Embassy in Washington.
The database was taken offline ten days later, on April 22.
Writing about his discovery, Vickery said he came across ‘something dangerous’ – a proof that someone moved confidential government data out of Mexico and into the United States. The database was hosted on an Amazon cloud server.
Vickery also said that under Mexican law, the files are ‘strictly confidential’, and that tampering with them could get you sentenced to 12 years in prison.
"I can only imagine what fury will ensue now that anyone in the entire world could have potentially downloaded it," Vickery stated. "I mean, I'm just some guy in Texas... and I have it."
The news comes less than a month since a similar thing happened to Filipino voters – data of 55 million of them was found online by security researchers from Trend Micro.
The difference is that in the Filipino case – we know that it was Anonymous Philippines who was behind the breach.
In this case, we still don’t know who the perpetrator is.