'Biggest-ever data breach': 26 billion records leaked including from X and LinkedIn - how to check if you're affected

22 January 2024, 19:27 | Updated: 23 January 2024, 12:03

Billions of records have been leaked
Billions of records have been leaked. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

More than 26 billion records have been exposed in what cybersecurity experts have described as the 'biggest data leak ever'.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Private information from dozens of popular sites, including X, Dropbox, and LinkedIn, has been discovered on an unsecured page.

Over 280 million Twitter records were leaked in the data breach, experts say, while over 250 million LinkedIn records were affected.

Other popular sites across the world to be affected include MyFitnessPal, Canva, MySpace, Adobe, and Deezer.

Bob Dyachenko, who owns SecurityDiscovery.com, discovered the data break alongside researchers from Cybernews, who have suggested a malicious actor may be behind it.

It is thought the records come from a collection of previous breaches, with some duplicates among the 12 terabytes of data.

"'The dataset is extremely dangerous as threat actors could leverage the aggregated data for a wide range of attacks," researchers said.

Read More: MoD breach of Afghans’ data ‘could have posed threat to life in Taliban’s hands’

Read More: Everton and Nottingham Forest face points deductions after being hit with Premier League finance breach charges

The attacks could constitute identify theft, phishing schemes or targeted cyberattacks, they added.

Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity advisor for ESET told the Mail: "This is an absolutely huge breach of data.

"Cybercriminals cannot ever be underestimated with what they can achieve with even minimal information but if passwords have been taken the victims need to be aware of the consequences and must make the appropriate security updates."

A LinkedIn spokesperson said: "We are working to fully investigate these claims and we have seen no evidence that LinkedIn's systems were breached.”

Most-affected websites by recorded leaks

LinkedIn has been heavily affected by the data breach
LinkedIn has been heavily affected by the data breach. Picture: Alamy

Tenacent - 1.5bn

Weibo - 504m

MySpace - 360m

Twitter - 281m

Wattpad - 271m

Netease - 261m

Deezer - 258m

LinkedIn - 251m

AdultFriendFinder - 220m

Zynga - 217m

Luxottica - 206m

Evite - 179m

Zing - 164m

Adobe - 153m

MyFitnessPal - 151m

Canva - 143m

JD.com - 142m

Badoo - 127m

VK - 101m

Youku - 100m

To check if you have been affected, you can enter your email here.