Data Breach Exposes 123 Million U.S. Households

By Robert Hackett December 22, 2017

Alteryx (alteryx, +0.00%), a marketing analytics firm, left an unsecured database online that publicly exposed sensitive information for about 123 million U.S. households.

The personal details included street addresses, demographics, and finances for families, as well as information pertaining to house and auto ownership, and even to children. The database was open to anyone with an account on Amazon (amzn, -0.55%) Web Services, the storage service Alteryx used to host the files.

Researchers with the cybersecurity firm UpGuard said they discovered the improperly secured database—since shored up by Alteryx—on Oct. 6, as they revealed in a blog post on Tuesday. The researchers, including Chris Vickery, UpGuard’s director of research and a prolific hunter of unsecured web databases, noted that, “Simply put, one dummy sign-up for an AWS account, using a freshly created email address, is all that was necessary to gain access to this bucket’s contents.”
Alteryx did not say whether any unauthorized access occurred.
A large portion of the data appeared to originate with Experian (expgy, -0.67%), one of three major U.S. credit bureaus, which collected and sold them as part of its “ConsumerView” product for marketers. Alteryx sells access to its own marketing product, “Alteryx Designer w/ Data,” which incorporates the Experian and other data, such as public information from the U.S. Census Bureau, for about $39,000 per license.


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