The vulnerability of the World Wide Web is always a glaring concern for its billions of users. As good technology grows at an exponential pace, so does its negative counterpart. Lack of data safety and privacy can put any individual at risk even without their knowledge. And people have been nervous ever since reports of users’ data breaches and leakage from Twitter emerged. Let’s break down the whole fiasco and understand if it’s true or not. 

Twitter data breach

According to multiple news reports, data from over 200 million Twitter accounts have been breached by hackers and are now available on the Dark Web.

Twitter user data breach leak
Image courtesy of 9to5Mac
  • This Twitter data dump mainly includes users’ email addresses, usernames/handles, follower counts, etc. The total number of affected accounts from the hack was actually 400 million but the halved number is due to the removal of duplicate accounts.
  • Experts claim that the data was breached earlier last year due to a bug in Twitter’s system. However, Twitter claimed to have fixed the security flaw that allowed this new user data leakage.
  • Through this flaw in Twitter’s API, the system would reveal if any given email or phone number was associated with an account.

Twitter’s clarification

Twitter’s official statement distances itself from taking responsibility for the data breach. The Elon Musk-owned social media platform claims it found no evidence the data was obtained by exploiting a vulnerability in its systems.

  • Twitter’s statement can be interpreted in a way that the data breach is confirmed to be real, however, the extent of it is unknown. 
  • In January 2022, Twitter admitted to 5.4 million user accounts’ data being hacked and shared online. However, they claim that the new 200 million user dataset is not correlated to this incident.
Image courtesy of Bleeping Computer

What it means for you

The leaked data does not include users’ phone numbers, physical addresses, or passwords. However, it could lead to your sensitive information being misused or exposed online.

  • According to Privacy Affairs CEO and founder Miklos Zoltan, the exposed user data includes high-profile Twitter accounts such as Donald Trump, Sundar Pichai, SpaceX, and the World Health Organization.
  • Twitter users are checking if their accounts or email IDs have been compromised on Have I Been Pwned, a website that checks if your user data is part of any breach.

Twitter’s new user data leakage is just one of the large growing concerns at Twitter Inc. ever since Elon Musk took over as CEO. What do you think should be done to ensure your data’s security and privacy?

RELATED NEWS: Twitter Outage affects people across the globe; Elon Musk says “works for me”?

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SOURCES: Twitter – Privacy Blog, Gizmodo