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COMMENT: 35 million U.S. voter records from 19 states for sale on the Dark Web

Researchers have found more than 35 million U.S. voter records for sale on a hacking forum. The records are from 2018 voter registrations in 19 states, including Wisconsin, Texas and Georgia. The hackers are selling the databases by state. Kansas’s voter database, a top pick in a crowdfunded campaign by members of the dark web forum to purchase the data, has already been sold and published. Commenting on the story is Tim Erlin, VP at Tripwire:

Too often the sale of records is the point of discovery for a breach. While we know that voter records have been exposed in the past, the fact that they are hitting the market is important. If criminals can successfully monetise these voter records, it will drive greater interest in further compromises.

The implication that this data is being refreshed every week is very concerning because it indicates that the compromise might be ongoing. The personal information included could be used for identity theft or for phishing campaigns. In both cases, the more specific and accurate the data, the more effective the campaign.

The voting data itself presents a more interesting and concerning possibility. We know that a variety of disinformation campaigns have been used to influence elections. Having accurate voting records, along with personal data, could allow for more targeted and effective influence operations.

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