Pennsylvania among state voter databases posted to hacker forum site

Names, addresses, birthdays, and phone numbers are part of the trove.

Ian Bush
October 16, 2018 - 1:39 pm
pa voter database

Screenshot provided by Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Voter records are generally considered public information. But that doesn't mean states permit that personal data to be splashed online. Pennsylvania's database is posted to a website that's a favorite of hackers.

Names, addresses, birthdays, and phone numbers are part of the trove. So are voter ID numbers, political party registration, when the voter's ballots were cast and whether they were in person or absentee.

The same information is available from the Pennsylvania Department of State for a $20 fee. The government's website notes it's illegal to post the "full voter export" online.

The Pennsylvania leak appears on the same forum where information security researchers from Anomali Labs and Intel 471 found other state databases for sale. One user claims to "have acquired a backdoor" that allows access to frequent updates (purchasing legally from states typically provides access to moment-in-time records). Another user has started a crowdfunding campaign to expose info from 19 states.

Combined with other data breaches, the researchers say, it can open the door to identity theft and voter fraud.

There's been no comment from Pennsylvania officials.