A major database breach has seen personal information on nearly every person in the nation of Ecuador leaked.
The breached data includes names, cedulas (national ID numbers), date of birth, places of birth, home addresses, and gender, with millions of financial records also exposed.
The affected database contained records on 20.8 million people, despite Ecuador's official population being recorded as around 16.6 million. The researchers say that these extra entries are mainly duplicate and erroneous entries, but some also concern deceased citizens.
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The breach was discovered by vpnMentor security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar. They discovered an Elasticsearch server owned by a company called Novaestrat, which claims to provide analytics services for the local market.
Data on 6.7 million children under the age of 18 was also discovered, with the researchers finding that they were often able to reconstruct entire family trees from the information they uncovered.
Notable individuals affected included the President of Ecuador, as well as Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who infamously gained asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and was granted a cedula whilst there.
The information appears to gave been gathered from two separate sources - Novaestrat, and the country’s civil registry. However the researchers were unable to contact the former, as it did not list an email address or a phone number on its website, and its customer support page was broken.
The researchers were forced to reach out to Ecuador CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) team, which served as an intermediary and helped close the database down last week.
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