Private Terrorism Watchlist Leaked Online:
A private database containing the names of people with suspected links to terrorism was leaked online this week, the BBC reports.
Security researcher Chris Vickery said he found an out-of-date version of the World-Check Risk Screening database from Thomson Reuters, which offers clients intelligence on individuals and organizations suspected of money laundering and financing terrorism, among other crimes.
In a Reddit post, Vickery refused to elaborate on how he discovered the leak, though Thomson Reuters confirmed it, telling the BBC that a third party exposed an out-of-date version of the database online. It also said the material has been removed.
“We are grateful to Chris Vickery for bringing this to our attention, and immediately took steps to contact the third party responsible – as a result we can confirm that the third party has taken down the information,” a spokesperson told the BBC.
A marketing information pamphlet describing World-Check extolls its benefits for clients concerned about doing business with suspected terrorists or money launderers.
“We monitor over 300 sanction and watch lists and hundreds of thousands of information sources 24 hours a day, often identifying high-risk entities months or years before they are listed,” the pamphlet said. “In fact, between 2010 and 2011, we identified more than 360 entities before they appeared on the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list.”
Vickery claimed that his two-year-old copy listed more than 2.2 million “heightened-risk” individuals and organizations. That number has since grown to 2.7 million, of which 93,000 are flagged as having suspected links to terrorism, according to a Vice News article published earlier this year.
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