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Twitter Responds to Recent Data Leak Reports

Twitter has responded to recent data leak reports, confirming that the exposed information is the same as the one that was making the rounds earlier this year.

Twitter has responded to recent data leak reports, confirming that the exposed information is the same as the one that was making the rounds earlier this year.

The social media giant revealed in August that a vulnerability patched in January was exploited to obtain user data before a fix was rolled out. The admission came following reports that the flaw had been exploited to collect data on 5.4 million users.

The vulnerability was introduced in June 2021 and it allowed hackers to determine whether a specific phone number or email address was tied to an existing Twitter account, even for accounts where this information should have been private.

In late November, cybersecurity expert Chad Loder reported seeing a database of phone numbers, account names, account bios and verified status that appeared to come from a new Twitter breach.

However, a closer analysis showed that the database obtained by Loder was likely generated through the exploitation of the same vulnerability. The expert said there appeared to be tens of millions of impacted accounts, far more than the 5.4 million that had been previously reported, which suggested that multiple threat groups may have exploited the Twitter vulnerability to harvest user information.

In a blog post published on Friday, Twitter responded to the recent leak reports, saying that its incident response team compared the data in the new report to the previously leaked data and “determined that the exposed data was the same in both cases”.

The social media giant has not shared any additional clarifications. It’s unclear how many of its users are actually impacted and whether multiple threat groups did in fact exploit the vulnerability.

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The company said that while passwords were not exposed, it encourages users to enable two-factor authentication and keep an eye out for fake emails claiming to come from Twitter.

A few days before Loder announced a potentially new breach at Twitter, the previously announced database of 5.4 million accounts was made available on a popular hacker forum for free. The poster said they were aware of an additional 1.4 million records associated with suspended accounts.

Leak resulting from Twitter data breach

Related: Twitter Logs Out Some Users Due to Security Issue Related to Password Resets

Related: Can Elon Musk Spur Cybersecurity Innovation at Twitter?

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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