Experts Discover Compilation Database Storing 26 Billion Leaked Records

  • By Steven
  • Jan 26, 2024

Security Discovery

Security Discovery is a cyber risks analyst and solution provider. They are an industry leader with a significant track record of discovering data breaches overlooked by their competitors. Their owner, Bob Dyachenko, has an active role in the company, participating in hunting down cybercriminals and researching possible breaches. Dyanchenko has been the mind behind many breach discoveries, including those featured by Cybernews.com. This week, Dyachenko and Security Discovery were featured again in a Cybernews piece, discussing a massive breach database housing 26 billion stolen records

How is this Event Different? 

Typically, data breaches refer to a single event where an unauthorized actor obtains information from an organization. However, this scenario is different. Rather than the data coming from a single source, the records come from as many as 3,800 singular breach events; this means the organizations that appear in the database were added to the storage after their specific breach happened. The practice of collecting breached information is not new, but this event may be the most extensive compilation of data from multiple breaches ever. Cybernews has dubbed the event the “Mother of All Breaches”, speaking to the significant consequences that victims and the cyber world may now face.

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen? 

The data in this database comes from many organizations, most of which had previous cyber incidents. However, this does not mean that the database does not hold new information from previously unknown events. Some organizations will likely have heard about their breach for the first time from Dyachenko’s discovery. Further, each organization likely has a unique set of exposures, differing between individuals and consequences. The Cybernews report did not include the compromised data elements; however, it seems likely that the exposures included personally identifiable information, financial data, medical details, identity credentials, and a range of other sensitive data. 

How Did Companies Admit to These Breaches? 

Many companies would have already known and reacted to the data loss; for example, the Cybernews report showed multiple organizations with over 100 million records appearing in the database. The largest was Tencent, with 1.5 billion records, followed by Weibo, with under a third of that amount. MySpace, X (Twitter), Wattpad, LinkedIn, Zynga, Adobe, Canva, education institutions, government websites, and entities worldwide appeared within the database.

What Will Become of the Stolen Information? 

The data has been in the hands of cybercriminals for a significant period. In this time, the criminals have presumably only collected the data—but this is because nothing directly links them to data misuse schemes. This event may appear more often as organizations review their systems in the coming weeks and months. Further, the impact figure may increase, particularly if the criminals launch credential stuffing attacks on unsuspecting organizations. The data in the database is as vulnerable as ever; consequently, now is the time to take data precautions.

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach? 

Since the data comes from many websites, anyone may have new or old information exposed. Further, the sheer variety of websites indicates that no one is safe, especially those using the same credentials to log into multiple platforms or accounts. Consequently, all those who use online accounts for any reason must take the time to update and change old passwords and implement the most robust security measures available. Password managers are a great way to generate and maintain passwords, often for free. Meanwhile, multi-factor authentications are the lowest level of security every account should enable.

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