The security researchers of UpGuard have recently made a terrifying discovery in finding an unsecured Amazon S3 server containing several databases belonging to a data analysis provider called Alteryx.

While the server contained a variety of databases, the two that were of most interest belonged to the commercial partners of Alteryx, Experian and the US Census Bureau.

Of these, by far the most harmful database was that of Experian. As a credit reporting agency, Experian has access to everything related to your personal finances. In addition to your address, they have details on how many credit cards you have, what are your average balances on each of them, what is your credit limit, the status of your mortgage and more. All this information was installed on a completely unprotected server that anyone could literally access.

The reach and reach of the database is almost beyond comprehension, with over 3.5 billion financial details from over 123 US households. This is almost every family in the country.

It's not much of a silver lining, but the database does not contain any names. That said, since address information was present, linking an address with the current occupant's name is a trivial task for any hacker.

At this point, it is unclear whether someone besides the UpGuard researchers has downloaded the databases, but in the end it does not matter. The simple fact that so much information about so many American families have been left unattended means that virtually every person in the country is now at risk of identity theft.

At the root, this is a standard problem. Contractors such as Alteryx simply do not meet the same safety standards as the company or data protection agency in the first place (Experian and US Census Bureau, in this case). That said, it was only a matter of time before an accident of this scale occurred.

At this point, there is really nothing you can do but be aware that your personal information may have been compromised and remain vigilant.

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