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Dow Jones’ watchlist leaked, publicly exposing 2.4 million individual profiles

Dow Jones, one of the leading providers of information regarding senior PEPs (politically exposed persons), their relatives and close associates (RCAs), sanctioned individuals and organisations, persons of special interest (SIP) and special interest entities (SIE) profiles was found to be publicly accessible, with over 2.4 million profiles leaked.

Information leaked on individuals and organisations such as politicians, high-profile individuals and organisations that have been involved in financial crimes such as money laundering and fraud, sanctioned individuals including terrorists or those involved in terrorism acts are also on the watchlist. The type of information on each profile on the database, of which is all collected from public sources, varies from individuals’ full names, date of birth, citizenship, locations and in some cases photographs, were all accessible.

The watchlist is widely used by financial institutions, banks and other high-risk industries to determine the risk of an individual during the customer onboarding process to prevent the organisations engagement with risky individuals. The watchlist is also used globally in meeting compliance requirements for anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.

Dow Jones have stated that the database is now secured, with Spokesperson Sophie Bent saying that an “authorized third party” was the cause of this security breach, but what actions will Dow Jones take to ensure this does not occur again?

NameScan’s well established cyber security principles have been put in place to ensure that as a company we prevent leakages such as the one experienced by Dow Jones. Our resellers and users of our data have been technically vetted to ensure that they are capable of integrating successfully with our API so that we are not unintentionally exposing our database to the internet, and leaking confidential information out to the world.


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