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Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Robocent, a Virginia Beach political robocalling contractor, failed to secure more than 2,000 files in its Amazon cloud storage account including political profiles on "hundreds of thousands" of voters.

Why it matters: States typically make registered voter data public - the voter data could be best described as sensitive but not private. However, states can put restrictions on what entities can receive access to those files.

Researchers at Kromtech first made the discovery, alerted Robocent (who has since secured the files) and detailed their work in a LinkedIn post.

Details: The leaky files include audio recordings of calls as well and databases listing voters contact information, preferred political party as recorded by the state and demographic information.

Yes, but: Finding cloud storage leaks is not something malicious actors can do easily. These are cloud storage units, known as buckets, that are misconfigured to be accessible by the public. However, most public buckets are intended to be public, and finding exploitable information just by searching for public buckets is grueling work, even though the process is being made easier by security companies.

In short, just because the data was public doesn't mean anyone unauthorized saw it beyond the researchers.

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.