Twitter: 200M dataset was not obtained through the exploitation of flaws in its systems

Pierluigi Paganini January 12, 2023

Twitter said that its investigation revealed that users’ data offered for sale online was not obtained from its systems.

Twitter provided an update on its investigation launched after data of 200 Million users were offered for sale online. The company has found “no evidence” that the data were obtained by hacking into its systems.


Below are the key findings that emerged from the investigation:

  • 5.4 million user accounts reported in November were the same exposed in August 2022.
  • The 400 million records exposed 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, the data are not obtained through the exploitation of flaws in Twitter systems.
  • 400 million and 200 million datasets were the same, the second one was obtained from the first one by removing duplicated entries.
  • None of the datasets analyzed contained passwords or information that could lead to passwords being compromised.

The company pointed out that the huge trove of data is likely part of a publicly available dataset originating from different sources. 

“Based on information and intel analyzed to investigate the issue, there is no evidence that the data being sold online was obtained by exploiting a vulnerability of Twitter systems,” reads the update provided by the company. “The data is likely a collection of data already publicly available online through different sources.”

Alon Gal, Co-Founder & CTO at Hudson Rock, doesn’t agree with Twitter’s statement and confirmed the authenticity of the leak.

“Yesterday Twitter posted a statement on the recent 200,000,000 data breach. Having discussed it with other security professionals and conducting my own research around it, I believe that my previous assessment is still valid.” said Gal. “For example, the authenticity of the leak is evident in the lack of false positives between Twitter usernames and emails found in the database, opposite to cases of data enrichments.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Twitter)

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