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235 Milion TikTok, Instagram, YouTube Accounts Exposed In Database Breach

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It’s 2020 so a database containing scraped data of about 235 million social media users has been exposed online. This exposé affects social media users of popular platforms TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

It’s important to know that this isn’t a hack or an attack of any sort. This information has been obtained by scraping. The information scraped includes user information such as names, contact information, images, and statistics about followers.

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For the uninitiated, web scraping is a well-known technique of harvesting large amounts of data from websites with the help of internet automation. This harvested data is then used in various ways; some generate insights off this information whereas others use it to enhance their products or services.

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The database in question right now was discovered by Bob Diachenko who is the lead researcher for security firm Comparitech. He found three identical copies of the database and according to him, it belonged to a company called Deep Social that doesn’t exist any longer.

An example of the data that can be scraped from an Instagram account. (Source: Comparitech)

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When Comparitech researchers reached out to Deep Social their requests were forwarded to another company called Social Data. After acknowledging the exposure of the data, the servers hosting the data were taken down by Social Data shortly after.

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But a company spokesperson clarified that the data collected was public.

“Please, note that the negative connotation that the data has been hacked implies that the information was obtained surreptitiously. This is simply not true, all of the data is available freely to ANYONE with Internet access.”

If you weren’t aware, scraping information from Instagram, TikTok & YouTube is prohibited and is a violation of their policies.

Twitter Reports Vulnerability That Could Have Exposed Your DMs To HackersTwitter Reports Vulnerability That Could Have Exposed Your DMs To Hackers

As mentioned above, the database had information such as names, photos, follower stats, age, and even gender. In fact, according to Comparitech, 1 in 5 records contained either a number or an email address.

While it’s not clear whether any unknown third-party got access to this database, the exposure of the data could have ramifications. This data could be used to target individuals via phishing campaigns or spam marketing.


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by West Bengal News 24 staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: Mashable India

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