Sensitive Files Exposed in Oklahoma Securities Commission Data Leak

Sensitive Files Exposed in Oklahoma Securities Commission Data Leak

Millions of sensitive files were discovered on an unprotected server belonging to a state level agency.

Millions of sensitive files—some regarding investigations by the FBI—were uncovered in an unprotected data leak at the Oklahoma Securities Commission in December. 

Forbes reported that three terabytes of information was left on a server with no password, leaving it open to anyone with an internet connect. The leaked data included passwords, bank transactions, thousands of social security numbers and email archives stretching back nearly two decades. 

"[The breach] represents a compromise of the entire integrity of the Oklahoma department of securities' network," Chris Vickery, head of research at UpGuard, which discovered the leak, told Forbes. "It affects an entire state level agency. ...It's massively noteworthy."

Vickery said the FBI files contained "all sorts of archive enforcement actions" dating back seven years. The documents included spreadsheets with agent-filled timelines of interviews related to investigations, emails from parties involved in various cases and bank transaction histories. There were also copies of letters from subjects, witnesses and other parties involved in FBI investigations.

Cybersecurity firm UpGuard discovered the leak and said they reported it to the Oklahoma Department of Securities. Forbes asked the FBI to comment on the leak of case files and a spokes person provided the following statement:

"Adhering to Department of Justice policy, the FBI neither confirms nor denies any investigation."

In a blog post about the data leak, UpGuard said that while there was years of information on the server, it was not accessible for long.

"The good news is that, while the contents of the server extended over years, the known period of exposure was quite short," UpGuard said. "Shortening the window of exposure reduces the likelihood of other parties accessing the data and enables its owners to take responsive measures before the data is used maliciously."

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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