According to a security researcher, hackers stole the email addresses of more than 200 million Twitter users and posted them on a hacking forum online on Wednesday.
Alon Gal, the co-founder of Israeli cybersecurity-monitoring company Hudson Rock, wrote on LinkedIn that the breach “will unfortunately lead to a lot of hacking, targeted phishing, and doxxing.” “One of the most significant leaks I’ve seen”, he said.
Gal first discussed the report on social media on December 24, but since then, neither Twitter nor inquiries regarding the breach have received any comments. What steps, if any, Twitter has taken to look into or fix the problem needs to be clarified.
Reuters could not independently confirm that the information on the forum was accurate and originated from Twitter. Online users have been sharing screenshots of the hacker forum where the report first surfaced on Wednesday.
After viewing the exposed data, Troy Hunt, the founder of the breach notification website Have I Been Pwned, commented on Twitter that it appeared to be “pretty much what it’s been described as.”
The identity or location of the hacker or hackers responsible for the intrusion was unknown. Before Elon Musk acquired control of the business last year, in 2021, that might have happened.
At first, there were conflicting reports regarding the magnitude and scope of the breach, with early reports in December claiming that 400 million email addresses and phone numbers were taken.
Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic may be interested in a significant breach at Twitter. The US Federal Trade Commission and the Irish Data Protection Commission, where Twitter’s European headquarters are located, have been keeping an eye on the Elon Musk-owned business to see if it is complying with European data protection laws and a US consent decree, respectively. On Thursday, messages left with the two regulators were not promptly responded to.
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