235 million user profiles on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube were in the public domain
235 million user profiles on Instagram
To date, the incident is one of the largest data breaches.
Comparitech specialists discovered an unprotected database on the Internet containing about 235 million user profiles of Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube services. To date, the incident is one of the largest data breaches.
The data set was discovered by researcher Bob Dyachenko on August 1 this year. It contained information extracted from public profiles, including logins, full usernames, contact information, images, statistics on the number of subscribers, data on age, gender, etc.
Over 192 million posts were related to Instagram users, 42 million were related to TikTok users and almost 4 million were related to YouTube users. Although all information is publicly available, the rules of all three services prohibit extracting data from profiles.
Initially, the researchers linked the found database with the now-defunct Deep Social company, which was banned by Facebook and Instagram in 2018 for extracting data from user profiles, which is prohibited by social media politicians. Companies have even threatened Deep Social with legal action if it does not stop the practice.
In response to a request, representatives of Deep Social redirected Dyachenko to Social Data, a company specializing
in selling information about popular bloggers to marketing firms. However, Social Data denied the connection with
Deep Social stated that they did not consider the formation of a database to be illegal.
“All data is available to anyone with Internet access […] Even without the existence of a database, anyone can
resort to phishing in the same way or contact anyone who specifies a phone number or email address in their
social media profile […] Users who are not those wishing to provide information close their accounts, ”the company stressed.
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