An internet advertising company specializing in helping law firms sign up potential clients has exposed close to 150,000 records from a database that was left unsecured.
The database contained submissions as part of a lead-generation effort by X Social Media, a Florida-based ad firm that largely uses Facebook to advertise various campaigns for its law firm customers. Law firms pay the ad company to set up individual websites that aim to sign up victims from specific categories of harm and injuries — from medical implants, malpractice, sexual abuse and more — who submit their information in the hope of receiving legal relief.
But the database was left unprotected and without a password, allowing anyone to look inside.
Security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar found the database and reported it to the company, which pulled the database offline. The researchers also shared their discovery exclusively with TechCrunch and posted their findings on vpnMentor.
The database contained names, addresses, phone numbers, the date and time of a person’s submission and the circumstances and explanation of their accident, injury or illness. Often this included personal health information, sensitive medical information, details of procedures or the consumption of certain medications or specifics of traumatic events.
Several records seen by TechCrunch include records from campaigns targeting combat veterans who were injured on duty. Other campaigns sought to sign up those who suffered illnesses from pesticides or medications.
Other campaigns included soliciting claims for sexual abuse. We found several names, postal and email addresses and phone numbers of victims, many of which also described their sexual abuse as part of filling out the website form.
The researchers said the exposed data could be “easily traced” back to the individuals who filled out the website forms.… Read the rest