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  • Writer's pictureFreda Smit

Mother of all Data Breaches Reveals 26 Billion Records: Are You Affected?


This leak, containing user data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Weibo, Tencent, and other platforms, is undoubtedly the largest ever discovered.
This leak, containing user data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Weibo, Tencent, and other platforms, is undoubtedly the largest ever discovered.

In the world of cybersecurity, there have been data breaches, and then there's what experts are calling the "Mother of all Breaches" or MOAB for short. This supermassive leak contains an astonishing 26 billion records, making it almost certainly the largest data breach ever discovered.


The Astounding Scale of this Breach


The MOAB data leak comprises an incredible 12 terabytes of information, spanning over 26 billion records. What makes it unique is that it contains data from thousands of meticulously compiled and reindexed leaks, breaches, and privately sold databases.


It's a colossal compilation of compromised data that has been exposed over time.

Bob Dyachenko, a cybersecurity researcher, together with the Cybernews team, made this discovery. The exposed records were found on an open instance, and the owner is unlikely to ever be identified.


Platforms and Organizations Impacted


The MOAB includes records from various platforms, including Tencent QQ, Weibo, MySpace, Twitter, Deezer, LinkedIn, AdultFriendFinder, Adobe, Canva, VK, Daily Motion, Dropbox, Telegram, and many more.


Additionally, records from government organizations in the US, Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, Turkey, and other countries are also part of this breach.


The Threat Posed


The MOAB poses a significant threat to individuals as many people reuse usernames and passwords across multiple accounts. This could lead to a surge in credential-stuffing attacks, where attackers use stolen credentials to access other accounts. Furthermore, victims may be susceptible to spear-phishing attacks and an increase in spam emails.


“Threat actors could leverage the aggregated data for a wide range of attacks, including identity theft, sophisticated phishing schemes, targeted cyberattacks, and unauthorized access to personal and sensitive accounts,” they say.

Protecting Yourself


Given the unprecedented scale of this breach, everyone must take cybersecurity seriously. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:


  1. Use Strong Passwords: Ensure your passwords are strong and difficult to guess.

  2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Activate MFA on all important accounts for an extra layer of security.

  3. Watch for Phishing: Be vigilant for phishing and spear-phishing attempts, especially if you receive unexpected emails or messages.

  4. Check for Password Duplicates: Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

  5. Update Your Protection: Set up new security measures for accounts that share the same passwords.


Most of the exposed data is sensitive and, therefore, valuable for malicious actors
Most of the exposed data is sensitive and, therefore, valuable for malicious actors

Have I been affected?


Wondering if your email address is among the leaked data? You can easily check your email address on the following websites to see if it has been compromised:


Cybernews Data Leak Checker: Simply visit this website and enter your email address to check if it has been affected by the breach.


Have I Been Pwned: Another reliable option is to visit this site and input your email address to check its status.


Stay Informed and Vigilant


As cybersecurity experts work to address the fallout from the MOAB, individuals need to stay informed and maintain good cybersecurity practices. By taking proactive steps to protect your online accounts and data, you can reduce the risk posed by massive breaches like these.


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This article was written with information from Cybernews and Forbes.

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