Breach Brief – Alteryx

Published On December 22, 2017 | By Tom Huskerson | Breach Briefs

Alteryx, a California based data analytics company, has compromised the personal information of about 123 million American households. According to UpGuard of Silicon Valley Alteryx posted the information to a publicly available Amazon Web Services cloud-based data repository. The breach exposed sensitive details ranging from demographics like age and gender, to past retail purchases, specific interests, credit worthiness, interests, education, occupation, purchasing behaviors and hobbies. Though the information was considered anonymous it would be easy for a professional criminal or others with the knowledge to link the information with actual names.

According to UpGuard analyst Dan O’Sullivan the data was “left downloadable on the public internet.” O’Sullivan said that the data could  have potentially been accessed by any of the more than a million AWS account holders.

O’Sullivan wrote in his blog post, “Exposed within the repository are massive data sets belonging to Alteryx partner Experian, the consumer credit reporting agency, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau. While the Census data consists entirely of publicly accessible statistics and information, Experian’s ConsumerView marketing database, a product sold to other enterprises, contains a mix of public details and more sensitive data,” O’Sullivan explained. “Taken together, the exposed data reveals billions of personally identifying details and data points about virtually every American household.”

Chris Vickery, UpGuard’s director told the Huffington Post, “Databases like this allow bad guys to have that information about large swaths of people,” he said.  “So lots of fraud can be committed, even with systems that are designed to be based on personal knowledge.” 

Even though some of its data was compromised Experian is saying the issue is strictly in Alteryx’s court. Experian said in statement, “This is an Alteryx issue. Data security has always been, and always will be, our highest priority. As a matter of security best practices, Experian vets all our clients and mandates robust security measures and controls to secure our data.”

 

 

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. He attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has returned to focus on writing both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle. Most recently Tom has launched the blog African American Cyber Report. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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