Hackers Reportedly Leak Email Addresses Of More Than 200 Million Twitter Users – A security researcher reported on Wednesday that hackers stole the email addresses of more than 200 million Twitter users and put them on an online hacking forum. The breach “will unfortunately lead to a lot of hacking, targeted phishing and doxxing,” Alon Gal, co-founder of Israeli cybersecurity monitoring firm Hudson Rock, wrote on LinkedIn. He called it “one of the most significant leaks I’ve seen.”
Since December 24th, when Gal first posted about it on social media, Twitter has not commented on the claim nor responded to inquiries regarding the incident. It was unclear what, if any, actions Twitter has done to investigate or address the issue. Reuters was unable to independently confirm whether or not the data on the forum originated from Twitter. Screenshots of the hacker forum, where the material surfaced on Wednesday, have been widely spread online.
Troy Hunt, the founder of the data breach notification site Have I Been Pwned, analyzed the leaked information and stated on Twitter that it seemed “pretty much what it’s been described as.” The identity and location of the hacker or hackers responsible for the incident were unknown. It may have occurred as early as 2021, before Elon Musk assumed control of the firm last year. Initial assessments of the scale and scope of the hack varied, with some claiming in December that 400 million email addresses and phone numbers were compromised.
A significant breach at Twitter may spark the interest of authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. The data protection authority in Ireland, where Twitter’s European headquarters are located, and the Federal Trade Commission of the United States have been monitoring the firm owned by Elon Musk for compliance with European data protection standards and an American consent order, respectively. On Thursday, the two regulators did not immediately respond to messages left with them.