The “threat actor” behind the data breach provided samples from the database, posting private details of celebrities and prominent figures.
Twitter has been in turmoil ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk acquired control of social media platform Twitter in a $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,64,000 crore) deal in October. Large-scale layoffs at the company, major policy changes and concerns about platform regulation have followed. Now, Twitter may face a massive data breach that could threaten users’ private information. According to a report, the data of 40 crore Twitter users, including American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, has been put up for sale. Moreover, the person behind the breach is also trying to extort Twitter CEO Elon Musk to buy the data.
According to cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, which first spotted the breach, the private data of more than 40 million individuals has been obtained by “threat actors” and is now for sale. The database includes sensitive information such as email and phone numbers.
In their tweets, the firm explained that the person responsible for the breach is “credible” and claims to have obtained the data in early 2022 using a vulnerability in Twitter. The threat actor has also provided samples of data revealing the private information of high-profile individuals such as Donald Trump Jr., Sundar Pichai and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Hudson Rock posted a screenshot of the hacker’s data breach post, which was published on December 23. In the leak, the man appears to be harassing Twitter CEO Elon Musk. “Twitter or Elon Musk if you’re reading this you’re already risking a GDPR penalty of 400m users source breaching fines imaging 5.4m breaches. Like Facebook your best option to avoid paying $276 million USD in GDPR breach fines (due to 533 million users being scraped) is to simply buy this data.”
The threat actor’s claims have not yet been verified, but Hudson Rock said the breached data appears to be legitimate.
This is not the first data breach Twitter has faced. In August, 5.4 million users’ Twitter data went up for sale online. Twitter confirmed that the impact of the breach was global. Last week Meta agreed to pay $725 million (about Rs 6,000 crore) to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing it of allowing third parties to access users’ personal information.