File - In this file photo taken on Jan. 23 2018, a solider watches code lines on his computer screen at the French Defense ministry stand during the International Cybersecurity forum in Lille, northern France. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)
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Some 1.5 billion sensitive online files, from pay stubs to medical scans to patent applications, are visible on the open internet, security researchers said Thursday. Researchers from the cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows said a scanning tool used in the first three months of 2018 found mountains of private data online from people and companies across the world.The unprotected data amounted to some 12 petabytes, or four thousand times larger than the "Panama Papers" document trove that exposed potential corruption in dozens of countries.A significant amount of the data left open was from payroll and tax return files, which accounted for 700,000 and 60,000 files respectively, Digital Shadows said.About 7 percent of the data was in "misconfigured" cloud Amazon cloud computing storage.
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