1 Billion-Record Database of Searches of CVS Website Exposed Online

HIPAA Journal

Steve Alder

A database belonging to CVS Pharmacy that included approximately 1 billion search records has been exposed online. The database included information about searches performed by visitors to CVS.com and CVSHealth.com, typically for information about medications an COVID-19 vaccines.

It is common for databases such as these to be maintained by companies. The search information can be used for analytics, customer management, marketing, and other purposes to improve the services provided to customers. These searches can sometimes be tied to an individual by their IP address, or in this case by the searcher’s email address.

The colossal database was discovered by security researcher Jeremiah Fowler. Fowler found that the email addresses of some visitors to the websites was also included in the database. Due to the size of the database, it was not possible to...

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