As if we do not already have enough to worry about in the upcoming U.S. election, now hackers have access to the entire U.S. Voter Registration database. A seller going by the handle “DataDirect” on TheRealDeal market is offering to sell the voter database for .5 Bitcoin or about $330 USD per state. DataDirect is offering a value pack if you buy all 50 states for 12 Bitcoin.
The first questions you might ask are “What would someone do with the data?” and “Why would they want it?” First, let’s take a look at what data is being offered. Below is a sample.
With this data, any number of a targeted scams could be run. Marketers or criminals would know the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, and if they are an active voter.
Is the data legit?
It is hard to know for sure if the data is legitimate. The only way to know would be to pay and download the data. From the sample data, it certainly looks like the real deal. The sample data is not redacted on the site, and the name checks out as an actual person in California.
Where did the data come from?
In December 2015, Chris Vickery, a security researcher, claimed to have found 191 million US voter records. He claimed there was no security needed to access the data, no password or other authentication needed at all. At the time, Chris made attempts to get authorities to close the open door, but couldn’t get anyone to take responsibility.
It is uncertain if the U.S. Voter Registration data was downloaded from the same source in December or if it was stolen from a political party or government agency’s server.
Every day we hear of a new database being offered for sale on the DarkNet. This same seller is also offering a Thompson Reuters World-Check (2.4 million records) database and an Orastream.com (126,000 entries) user database. Seller “thedarkoverlord” has two healthcare databases for sale from Farmington, Missouri (48,000 patients) and Atlanta, Georgia (397,000 patients).
The DarkNet, Bitcoin, and markets like TheRealDeal make it possible for criminals to continue to profit in anonymity and without repercussions. Good work if you can get it, and don’t have a conscience.