February 4, 2023

Cybercriminals began selling the user data of more than 5.4 million Twitter users on a hacking forum after exploiting an API vulnerability disclosed in December 2021.

Recently, a hacker released this information for free, just as other researchers reported a breach affecting millions of accounts across the EU and U.S.

The exploit enabled hackers to submit email addresses or phone numbers to the API to identify which account they were linked to.

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Twitter fixed the vulnerability in January this year. It still exposed millions of users’ private phone numbers and email addresses and highlights that the impact of exposed APIs can be devastating for modern organizations.

The Twitter breach comes amid a wave of API attacks, with a report 95% of organizations experienced security problems in production APIs over the past 12 months, and 20% suffered a data breach as a result of security gaps in APIs.

API attacks in reality, vulnerabilities in systems provide access to unprecedented amounts of data, in this case, the records of 5.4 million users or more.

Though taditional software vulnerabilities and API vulnerabilities share some common characteristics, they are different at their core. APIs, to an extent, trust the system that is trying to connect to them.

This trust is problematic because once an attacker gains access to an API, they have direct access to an organization’s underlying databases and all the information contained within them.

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Social engineering scams will target end users, organizations and security teams can provide timely updates to ensure that users are aware of the threats they’re most likely to counter and how to address them.

Security teams need to remind employees to activate two-factor authentication on their personal accounts to reduce the likelihood of unauthorized logins

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