HomeLatest UpdatesHistoric data leak reveals 26 billion records: check what's exposed

Historic data leak reveals 26 billion records: check what’s exposed

Mother of all breaches – a historic data leak reveals 26 billion records: check what’s exposed

Pierluigi Paganini
January 22, 2024

Cybersecurity researcher Bob Dyachenko and CyberNews researchers discovered the largest data leak ever discovered.

The supermassive leak contains data from numerous previous breaches, comprising an astounding 12 terabytes of information, spanning over a mind-boggling 26 billion records. The leak is almost certainly the largest ever discovered.

There are data leaks, and then there’s this. A supermassive Mother of all Breaches (MOAB for short) includes records from thousands of meticulously compiled and reindexed leaks, breaches, and privately sold databases.

Bob Dyachenko, cybersecurity researcher and owner at SecurityDiscovery.com, together with the Cybernews team, has discovered billions upon billions of exposed records on an open instance whose owner is unlikely ever to be identified.

  • You can check if your data was exposed in historic data breaches using the Cybernews data leak checker. Our team is working hard to update the tool and provide you with means to check if your data was exposed in the MOAB.

However, the researchers believe that the owner has a vested interest in storing large amounts of data and, therefore, could be a malicious actor, data broker, or some service that works with large amounts of data.

“The dataset is extremely dangerous as 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,” the researchers said.

The supermassive MOAB does not appear to be made up of newly stolen data only and is most likely the largest compilation of multiple breaches (COMB).

While the team identified over 26 billion records, duplicates are also highly likely. However, the leaked data contains far more information than just credentials – most of the exposed data is sensitive and, therefore, valuable for malicious actors.

data leak

A quick run through the data tree reveals an astoundingly large number of records compiled from previous breaches. The largest number of records, 1.4 billion, comes from Tencent QQ, a Chinese instant messaging app.

However, there are supposedly hundreds of millions of records from Weibo (504M), MySpace (360M), Twitter (281M), Deezer (258M), Linkedin (251M), AdultFriendFinder (220M), Adobe (153M), Canva (143M), VK (101M), Daily Motion (86M), Dropbox (69M), Telegram (41M), and many other companies and organizations.

The leak also includes records of various government organizations in the US, Brazil, Germany, Philippines, Turkey, and other countries.

According to the team, the consumer impact of the supermassive MOAB could be unprecedented. Since many people reuse usernames and passwords, malicious actors could embark on a tsunami of credential-stuffing attacks.

“If users use the same passwords for their Netflix account as they do for their Gmail account, attackers can use this to pivot towards other, more sensitive accounts. Apart from that, users whose data has been included in supermassive MOAB may become victims of spear-phishing attacks or receive high levels of spam emails,” the researchers said.

The leak’s scale is of yet unseen proportions. For example, in 2021, Cybernews reported a COMB that contained 3.2 billion records – only 12% of the supermassive MOAB of 2024.

The full and searchable list of the leaks composing the MOAB is available in the original post published by CyberNews:


About the author: Vilius Petkauskas, Deputy Editor at CyberNews

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, data leak)

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