Third Party Research and Legal Outsourcing Services Responsible for Leaky Legal Database

2019, Breaches, March

Who: Lex Machina or LexVisio

When: 15 Mar 2019

# of records involved: 257,287 legal documents

What happened: A database containing 257,287 legal documents, with some marked as “not designated for publication,” was left exposed on the public internet without a password, allowing anyone to access and download a treasure trove of sensitive legal materials.

How did it happen: The database, which was left online for roughly two weeks, contained unpublished legal documents relating to US court cases. Cases are from 2002-2010 era, from all over the United States. The database contained both public and non-public versions alike, showing a full history of how some cases evolved.

Outcome: It remains unclear to whom the database belongs to even to this day. The database at the center of this leak was an ElasticSearch server, a technology for powering advanced search systems that have​ been at the heart of many similar leaks in the past.

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