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Illustration by Security Management

Voter Data for 6.5 Million Israelis Leaked

A security lapse by an app maker led to the exposure of data from all 6.5 million eligible voters in Israel, including full names, addresses, genders, phone numbers, and identity card numbers.

The website for the Elector app failed to secure personal details in the voter registry, even for people who did not use the app, according to an early report by the Haaretz newspaper. The app’s maker, Feed-b, issued a statement to the Israeli news media, describing the leak as a “one-off incident that was immediately dealt with” and claiming it has since improved site security.

According to The New York Times, the data required no hacking skills to access, and it is unknown how many people downloaded the voter registry. Visitors on the app’s website could right-click to “view source” and find admin usernames and passwords included in the code behind the webpage. These credentials enabled anyone to log in and download voter information, according to the Haaretz report.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Lukid party had encouraged voters to download the app to get news and information related to the upcoming election on 2 March.

“The exposure of the database of Israeli voters could have significant consequences,” The New York Times reports. “Databases listing personal information of private citizens can be exploited for a number of purposes, including by criminals looking to make money through identity theft, or by foreign state-backed hackers looking to spy on Israeli voters ahead of a critical election.”