New Delhi, August 21: An unsecured database has reportedly left Instagram, TikTok and YouTube accounts of as many as 235 million users exposed online on the Dark Web. According to a report by Forbes, the massive data leak has been unearthed by the security research team at Comparitech. The profiles of 235 million Instagram, TikTok and YouTube users were up for grabs on the Dark Web. The leak data contain information like profile name, profile photo, age and in some cases telephone numbers or email address of the users. Intel Hacked, Massive 20GB Confidential Intellectual Data Leaked on Internet; US Chipmaker Reacts.
“The data was spread across several datasets and the most significant being two coming in at just under 100 million each and containing profile records apparently scraped from Instagram. The third-largest was a dataset of some 42 million TikTok users, followed by nearly 4 million YouTube user profiles,” reports Forbes, quoting the security researchers. The leaked data of Instagram, TikTok and YouTube users is linked to a company called Deep Social banned by both Facebook and Instagram in 2018 for scraping user profile data. Twitter Privacy Flaws Result in User Data Leak; Micro-Blogging Site Apologises For Sharing Information Inadvertently.
“Scraping people’s information from Instagram is a clear violation of our policies. We revoked Deep Social’s access to our platform in June 2018 and sent a legal notice prohibiting any further data collection,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying. According to Comparitech, data marketing company Social Data later shut the unsecured database after it was reported to them. “Social Data has denied any connection between itself and Deep Social,” according to the Comparitech report.
“The information would probably be most valuable to spammers and cybercriminals running phishing campaigns,” said Paul Bischoff, Editor at Comparitech. “Even though the data is publicly accessible, the fact that it was leaked in aggregate as a well-structured database makes it much more valuable than each profile would be in isolation,” Bischoff said in the report on Thursday.
(The above story first appeared on Fool’s Corner on Aug 21, 2020 02:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website foolscorner.com).