Global terror database World-Check leaked

The terrorist database used by global banks and intelligence agencies World-Check has reportedly leaked online.

The mid-2014 version of the database contains some 2.2 million records and is used by 49 of the world’s 50 largest banks, along with 300 government and intelligence agencies.

The Thomson Reuters database is accused of falsely designating citizens and organisations as terrorists. Banks have used this data in whole or in part to shutter accounts, effectively locking people out of vast swathes of the global banking system.

Established security researcher Chris Vickery found the database and told The Register it is still exposed online after he disclosed its location to Thomson Reuters.

“As far as I know, the original location of the leak is still exposed to the public internet,” Vickery says. “Thomson Reuters is working feverishly to get it secured.”

Thomson Reuters says it will provide citizens and organisations information about their designation on individual request. Alerts are not issued to known contacts of those affected when terrorist designations are assigned, however.

A high profile public disclosure of the database beyond the original leak could be reckless: World-Check contains sensitive information on citizens regarding their alleged criminal histories and terrorist links.

Thomson Reuters requests that banks and other customers use multiple sources alongside World-Check and requests that the secretive database not be cited in any public decision-making materials.

The organisation rejects accusations that World-Check is a controversial service.

Read more: Global terror database World-Check leaked