235 Million Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube Profiles Leaked in Database Breach

235 Million

The crucial data of over 235 million Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube profiles were exposed reportedly in a massive database breach. According to reports, data of nearly 235 million social media users were exposed without any password protection.

In addition to names, the leaked data consists of contact info, images, and statistics about followers. The lead researcher for the security firm Comparitech, Bob Diachenko revealed that they found three identical copies of the database on August 1. He also added that the data belongs to Deep Social, which currently doesn’t exist.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong-based company named Social Data has accepted the235 million breach and closed access to the database. The reports suggest that Social Data has denied any association with Deep Social. The company disclosed that the collected data was for public consumption and wasn’t collected with any suspicion.

It is to be noted that Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have banned web scraping process, which is a method to fetch data from web pages in an automated manner. The social media companies mainly prohibit this practice to protect user data. You should note that several analytics companies still create large databases of user information with the help of web scrapers including selling the data to other market agencies.

According to reports, the scraped data mainly consists of four major datasets with information pertaining to millions of users from Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. The data includes information such as profile name, full name, profile photo, gender, age and follower statistics. The experts claim that the data is mainly used for phishing and spam campaigns. To recall, Diachenko had released a massive database with scraped content to the tune of 267 million Facebook users.

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Going forward, social media companies should adopt a tough strategy to combat the rapid spread of web scraping. They should protect user data from the eyes of hackers and scammers.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com