According to the cyber intelligence agency Hudson Rock, a hacker claims to be selling the private data of 400 million Twitter users including both emails and phone numbers on the deep web. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and billionaire Mark Cuban are among those whose data was allegedly compromised.
The hacker claims to have compromised data since earlier this year via a security hole and warned Elon Musk that he should purchase the data before it leads to a large fine under Europe’s GDPR privacy law. Hudson Rock added that while they have not been able to validate the hacker’s claims fully, the estimated number of victims is more than 400 million.
Web3 security platform DeFiYield examined 1,000 accounts provided by the hacker and verified that the data is real. However, some users find such a large number hard to believe, given that Twitter’s monthly active users are only 450 million. By noon on Dec 26, the hacker still had a post on Breached advertising the database to buyers and offered Elon Musk $176 million to avoid selling the data.
If Elon Musk pays the fee, the hacker will delete the database and not sell it to anyone to “prevent a lot of celebrities and politicians from phishing, crypto scams, Sim swapping, Doxxing and other things”.
In June 2021, Twitter discovered an application programming interface vulnerability, creating loopholes for hackers to take personal information of users. But it was not until January 2022 that this network patched the bug. On Nov 27, technology forum Bleeping Computer warned that two other databases consisting of around 5.5 million and 17 million users were at risk of being compromised. So, users need to take precautions, such as setting up two-factor authentication for different accounts, storing passwords securely, and keeping assets in wallets carefully.
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