Travellers to the US states could run the risk of theft of their details by hackers after researchers discovered security flaws in a database belonging to the US state department.
The crucial state department database, known as the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), had been described as the ''backbone'' system for vetting travellers to and from the US.
ABC News first revealed the news of the database flaws, which also revealed that flaws had been detected several months ago after the US state department commissioned an internal review of its cyber-defences. However, they added no breach of the kind was detected.
The database reportedly contains the personal data of over 500 million people, and was said to be one of the world's largest biometric databases. It contained sensitive data for people who had applied for a US passport or visa in the past 20 years.
Indeed, the CCD is also said to contain other information such as applicants' photographs, fingerprints, social security or other identification numbers and even children's schools.