Massive data breach reveals 26bn records from LinkedIn, Snap, X, more: Report (Ld)

January 24, 2024
Cybersecurity researchers have warned that a database containing over 26 billion leaked data records has been discovered

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Cybersecurity researchers have warned that a database containing over 26 billion leaked data records has been discovered, which include users’ data from LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), Snapchat, Weibo, Tencent, and other major platforms.

The researchers referred to this massive data leak as the ‘Mother of All Breaches’ (MOAB), saying it was the biggest data leak found to date.

This data leak, which contains 12-terabytes (TB) of information, was discovered by security researchers from Security Discovery and Cybernews.

The researchers claimed that while the majority of the data in the stolen dataset comes from previous data breaches, it most likely contains previously unpublished new material as well.

The leaked data includes more than just login credentials. Much of the leaked data is ‘sensitive’, making it ‘valuable for malicious actors’, according to the report.

There are 3,800 files in the MOAB that hold 26 billion records total, with each folder representing a different data breach.

“The dataset is extremely dangerous as threat actors could leverage the aggregated data for a wide range of attacks, including identity theft, sophisticated phishing schemes, targeted cyberattacks, and unauthorised access to personal and sensitive accounts,” the researchers said.

As per the report, Tencent QQ, a Chinese instant messaging app, has the most records — 1.4 billion.

There are, however, apparently hundreds of millions of records on Weibo (504 million), MySpace (360 million), Twitter (281 million), Deezer (258 million), Linkedin (251 million), AdultFriendFinder (220 million), Adobe (153 million), Canva (143 million), VK (101 million), Daily Motion (86 million), Dropbox (69 million), Telegram (41 million), and many more.

“We are working to fully investigate these claims and we have seen no evidence that LinkedIn’s systems were breached,” LinkedIn said in a statement.

In addition, the leak includes records of various government organisations in the US, Brazil, Germany, Philippines, Turkey, and other countries.

“If users use the same passwords for their Netflix account as they do for their Gmail account, attackers can use this to pivot towards other, more sensitive accounts. Apart from that, users whose data has been included in supermassive MOAB may become victims of spear-phishing attacks or receive high levels of spam emails,” the researchers stated.



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