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A web design flaw in First American Financial Corporation's document transfer system left around 885 million files exposed on the web with no security, reports independent reporter Brian Krebs.

Why it matters: Krebs notes that the documents, which date back to 2003, include "bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and drivers license images."

Details: The flaw, which has been repaired, appears to have been in an online system the firm used to link to files in private communications. Users would be sent to a website whose web address included a file number.

  • However, the files themselves were not individually protected. By changing the file number, you could access any one of the documents.
  • Krebs was alerted to the data exposure by developer Ben Shoval.

Threat level: There's no public evidence at this point that anyone maliciously accessed the files, though First American is investigating with the help of an outside forensics firm.

What they're saying:

  • In a statement, First American wrote "Security, privacy and confidentiality are of the highest priority and we are committed to protecting our customers’ information. Therefore, the company took immediate action to address the situation and shut down external access to the application."

Go deeper

Chicago releases video of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old boy

A small memorial is seen on April 15 in Chicago where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a police officer in March. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Chicago's independent police review board on Thursday released the body camera footage of an officer's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29.

The big picture: Tension continues to rise nationwide in response to police misconduct and racism. Thursday's footage release comes days after officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in a traffic stop near Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is ongoing.

3 hours ago - Podcasts

State AG candidate Jen Jordan talks Georgia's time under the microscope

Georgia has become the center of American politics, in an era wherein state issues and officials have taken on elevated national prominence.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Georgia state Sen. Jen Jorden, a Democrat running for attorney general, about her state's time in the national spotlight, if she'd defend the voting law as AG and if Will Smith should have pulled his movie production from her state.

Migrants cite Mexican law as incentive for heading north

Monitored by a caretaker, young unaccompanied immigrants, ages 3-9, in a playpen at a Homeland Security holding facility in Donna, Texas, last month. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images

A Mexican law against the detention of minors who are headed to the U.S. border may unintentionally be encouraging more attempts by children to cross over.

The state of play: Teenagers from Honduras told Reuters they decided to cross to the U.S. through Mexico because of the law, which gives them temporary protection from deportation, as they felt safer making the attempt.