Twitter Responds to Reports of User Data Being Sold Online

In response to recent media reports of Twitter users’ data being sold online, the company has today stated that it found no evidence this data originated from the exploitation of its systems.

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“We were recently made aware of reports that Twitter user data was being sold online,” the social media network says in a Tweet. The company goes on to share an update about an incident that took place earlier this year.

“In January 2022 we received a report through our bug bounty program of a vulnerability in Twitter’s systems.”

“This bug resulted from an update to our code in June 2021. When we learned about this, we immediately investigated and fixed it.”

“In July 2022, we learned through a press report that someone had potentially leveraged this and was offering to sell the information they had compiled,” Twitter says.

In November 2022, some press reports published that Twitter users’ data had been allegedly leaked online. As soon as we became aware of the news, Twitter’s Incident Response Team compared the data in the new report to data reported by the media on 21 July 2022. The comparison determined that the exposed data was the same in both cases.

After a comprehensive investigation, Twitter’s Incident Response and Privacy and Data Protection teams concluded that:

  • 5.4 million user accounts reported in November were found to be the same as those exposed in August 2022.
  • 400 million instances of user data in the second alleged breach could not be correlated with the previously reported incident, nor with any new incident.
  • 200 million dataset could not be correlated with the previously reported incident or any data originating from an exploitation of Twitter systems.
  • Both datasets were the same, though the second one had the duplicated entries removed.
  • None of the datasets analyzed contained passwords or information that could lead to passwords being compromised.

Twitter concludes based on these findings that there is no evidence the data being sold online was obtained by exploiting a vulnerability of Twitter systems. “The data is likely a collection of data already publicly available online through different sources.”

Twitter is also encouraging its users to remain extra vigilant when receiving any kind of communications over email. Click here to learn more about protecting your Twitter account.