An otherwise unremarkable find of an open Elasticsearch database containing millions of records became a Sherlock Holmes mystery as researchers cannot figure out the database’s origins.
Security researcher Troy Hunt, of Have I Been Pwned, was informed in February about an open database he has named db8151dd containing 90GB of data containing 22.8 million emails. Hunt noted the information likely was not obtained by scraping public sites and was aggregated in a unique fashion.
“Firstly, my phone number is not usually exposed and that was in there in full. Yes, there are many places that (obviously) have it, but this isn't a scrape from, say, a public LinkedIn page. Next, my record was immediately next to someone else I've interacted with in the past as though the data source understood the association,” he wrote.
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