A terrorist watchlist was found in an exposed database, and security researcher Bob Diachenko says there is no means of knowing just exactly how long that was open to the public.

You are watching: How to get on fbi watchlist


An apparent U.S. Federal government terrorism watchlist was found exposed to the open up internet.

Security researcher Bob Diachenko uncovered the data in one exposed Elasticsearch cluster and also reported the list to the FBI. That has since been bring away down.

According to a LinkedIn article from Diachenko, cyber threat intelligence research director at uncover Security, the list contained an easy information top top both American and also international citizens who were understood to be of interest to the federal government over danger of terrorism. Diachenko says that server was discovered and reported on July 19, with the takedown completed on Aug. 9.

Comprising around 1.9 million records, the database to be stored within an Elasticsearch server that had actually not been configured to have any sort of password protection. The documents included an easy info such together names, dates of birth and countries that citizenship, as well as much more sensitive information consisting of passport numbers and whether that individual was also on the Transportation defense Administration"s no-fly list.

Diachenko claimed in his LinkedIn post that the database was originally developed by the FBI-led terrorist Screening Center, an operation that additionally involves the department of Homeland security (DHS). The DHS referred inquiry for comment come the FBI, whose spokespersons might not be got to to talk about the matter.

Diachenko told lasignoralaura.com that it is difficult to know precisely how long the database was exposed online, and just who could have had access to it prior to being bring away down.

"It is difficult to tell for how long this list had been up prior to it acquired indexed by search engines," that explained. "But that was certainly up because that three-plus weeks prior to being taken down by authorities or the hosting provider itself (after mine responsible disclosure) -- so there is a decent opportunity that it hit the radar of who else."

If over there is any good news for those people whose information was exposed by the leak, the is the in many instances they likely already knew they to be on the list. According to a 2015 policy change, the DHS has to notify any U.S. Citizen that they have actually been added to the watchlist. This does not use to foreign citizens, however, so countless of those that live exterior the U.S. Likely had no formal notice they were on this list.

See more: How To Tunnel Under A House Vs Cutting Slabs For Foundation Repair

The FBI would certainly not it is in the first government entity to experience a data leak many thanks to a misconfigured cloud server; in 2017, one exposed AWS S3 bucket include U.S. Department of Defense data to be discovered. Poorly-configured storage buckets and databases are likewise one the the top reasons of client data loss, with companies having lost thousands of millions that account records thanks come servers that were not set for password protections or authentication needs of any type of kind.