Personal information of conservative applicants for wide range of top jobs exposed online for months

by WorldTribune Staff, May 15, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

The sensitive personal information of hundreds of conservative job seekers was left unprotected for months on the “jobs bank” of the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a report said.

Mark Meadows is paid $847,000 to serve as CPI’s ‘senior partner.’

The job seekers included members of the U.S. intelligence community, congressional aides, former Trump administration officials, and campaign operatives, The Washington Free Beacon reported last month.

CPI is led by former Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint and one of his former aides, Ed Corrigan. Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows serves as the organization’s “senior partner.”

The Free Beacon reported that the CPI “exposed the Social Security numbers, home addresses, private client names, and other personal details of over 1,500 job applicants, including several who hold the highest level security clearance—known as a top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) clearance—in a public online storage system on an Amazon cloud.

“With basic web-scraping software, the records can be viewed by anyone, including America’s foreign adversaries.”

Commented one young Trump Administration official: “Boomers in the Con Inc world are a DISEASE. They are tech illiterates who make WAY too much money.” [Free Beacon reported that Mark Meadows is paid $847,000 to serve as the organization’s “senior partner.”]

The Free Beacon’s report came days after a Politico report revealed that foreign actors are setting their sights on key aspects of the right-wing infrastructure in Washington, D.C. The Politico report said the Heritage Foundation was the subject of a cyberattack last month, likely from Russian or Chinese state actors, “aimed at Project 2025,” an effort to assemble resumes and lay the groundwork for the next Trump administration, if the former president wins the election in November. A Heritage official told Politico that the resume bank wasn’t breached because it is kept on a different server than the one attacked.

Joseph Steinberg, a cyber risk expert and the author of Cybersecurity for Dummies, told the Free Beacon that CPI’s unprotected system was “essentially the equivalent of putting a bucket of sensitive data in the middle of Times Square.”

“Foreign actors are probably going after these things,” Steinberg said. “We don’t know the repercussions that could come down the line.”

Steinberg added that such information could be collected by foreign governments and used to identify future administration officials, possibly for “blackmail and bribery.”

The Free Beacon reported that it notified Corrigan of the problem and of the outlet’s intention to write a story on the matter, but not until it received confirmation the compromised files had been taken down. A spokesman for CPI said “we have resolved the situation.”

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