Database With Info on 2.2m Criminal Suspects Leaked

Not all data breaches contain details of regular consumers and enterprises these days. One database classifying suspected terrorists, money launderers, and other criminals have been leaked online. Interestingly enough, no one needed particular credentials to access this type of information either. Not the best of security practices, to say the least.

Thomson Reuters’ World-Check Database Leaked

TheMerkle_Leaked Database Thomson Reuters

It is no secret databases are collecting all kinds of information on users. Finding criminals and terrorists is a difficult task, and lists of potential suspects have to be created. Leaking that database on the Internet, however, is not the way to do things and keeping information classified by any means.

One of those databases is called Thomson Reuters’ World-Check , and it contains  over 2.2 million suspects of various crimes. Just because these people are on this list, doesn’t mean they are convicted of any crimes. Moreover, being in this database does not mean these people have ever committed any crime in the past, or plan to do so in the future.

For now, it remains to be seen how this database leaked to the Internet, especially when no one needs credentials to see the information stored. It is very likely one of the company’s customers leaked this information to the web, as it did not come from Thomson Reuters directly. Moreover, it does not appear there was any hacking involved in the process.

Third-party exposure of sensitive information is not that uncommon, though. A similar incident occurred with a US voter database containing details of 154 million people, which was leaked in June of 2015. Storing information in a secure manner is just one aspect of security, though. Third-party services providers need to conduct their due diligence as well.

One thing very few people are aware of is how many people and institutions have access to the Thomson Reuters database. Over 300 intelligence agencies, 49 banks, and 9 of the top 10 global law firms have access to this information. The database leak could be anywhere among them, and it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.

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