Information related to nearly 235 million TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube users were accessed by hackers when they targeted a database belonging to Social Data, a company that sells data related to social media influencers to various Marketing firms.
The data hack news was published in Comparitech’s latest security report where the company’s researcher Bob Diachenko exposed the 3 identical copies of data hosted at 3 different locations by the company.
According to sources, the researcher managed to access over 96,000,000 records harvested from Instagram, 95,678,000 records scraped from Instagram on a separate date, and over 43,000,000 records scrapped from TikTok and 3,955,892 from YouTube.
Highlight of this data exposure is that the Social Data firm used to collect and store critical details such as Profile Name, Full Name, Age, Gender, Profile Photo, Account description, number of followers, had ads or not, business profile/individual profile, engagement rate and follower’s growth rate based on the Audience gender or age- including location.
What amazed Bob was that the data was being stored in an unencrypted form and was copied and pasted from another database belonging to Deep Social.
In the year 2018, Deep Social, a marketing firm by the business was banned by Instagram and its parent company Facebook who later threatened it with legal action if it still tried to scrape data from the user profiles.
Social Data has denied any connection with Deep Social. But Comparitech claims that it has enough evidence that the database was hacked by cyber crooks at sometime early this year and the information was gathered surreptitiously.
Note- Facebook is looking into the matter of ‘Social Data’ after it came to know that the firm was scrapping the info of its user profiles on an illegal note.