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TikTok denies reports of a major data breach

Written by Thu 8 Sep 2022

TikTok

The social media giant, TikTok, has denied claims that there was a significant data breach involving 790GB of user data.

A user named ‘AgainstTheWest’ posted on the Breach Forums message board that they had screenshots that purported to show evidence of a TikTok breach. They also said in their post that they were deciding whether to sell the data or release it to the public.

Two data samples were posted alongside the claims. Another user, named ‘BlueHornet|AgainstTheWest’ also claimed to have stolen internal back-end source code. TikTok denies all allegations that the firm was the victim of a security breach, leaving cyber security experts to analyse the files to determine where the data was originally from.

“TikTok prioritizes the privacy and security of our users’ data,” a TikTok spokesperson said. “Our security team investigated these claims and found no evidence of a security breach.”

Online security consultant, Troy Hunt, investigated the data and discovered that it was all publicly available data that could have been collected without a breach. Just days before this leak was alleged, Microsoft found a “high-severity vulnerability” in TikTok’s Android app, which gave hackers access to compromise users’ accounts with just one click. TikTok have now confirmed that this weakness has been fixed.

The data storage practices of TikTok have come under attack before, with the US Federal Communications Commission asking Apple and Google to delete the app from their app stores in June 2022 due to secretive data practices.

In light of this potential breach, cyber security experts are calling on all TikTok users to secure their accounts by changing old passwords and setting-up two-factor authentication.

Time will tell if the breach is genuine or not, but the most recent information indicates that the hacker who made the first claim has been banned from the Breach Forums message board where the claim was originally posted.

Written by Thu 8 Sep 2022

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data breach privacy tiktok
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