1.2 billion personal details exposed in massive data leak

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'One of the largest leaks from a single source in history,' notes researcher.

By Web Report

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Published: Sun 24 Nov 2019, 3:39 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Nov 2019, 5:42 PM

The profiles of 1.2 billion people containing highly personal details were left exposed on a single server.
According to Wired, this may be one of the largest leaks from a single source in history, with the dataset containing 'more than a billion personal email addresses, more than 420 million LinkedIn URLs, over a billion Facebook URLs and IDs, and more than 400 million phone numbers, over 200 million valid US mobile numbers.'
The leak was discovered in October by Dark Web researcher Vinny Troia and fellow researcher Bob Diachenko.
'From the perspective of an attacker, if the goal is to impersonate people or hijack their accounts, you have names, phone numbers, and associated URLs," Troia told Wired.
The researchers stumbled upon more than 4 terabytes of data, but were unable to locate the culprit behind the leak, with the server only being able to be traced back to Google Cloud Services. Troia noted that there was no way to know if the data had been downloaded or found by anyone before him.
Most of the data was marked as 'PDL', with some being marked 'OXY', implying that the data may have originated respectively from data brokers People Data Labs and Oxydata. Both companies have thus far denied culpability.
Troia said he reported the leak to the FBI. The server was gone and the details were taken offline within a few hours. The FBI declined any comment on the leak.

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