January 20, 2021

Millions of Social Profiles Leaked by Chinese Data-Scrapers


A cloud misconfig by SocialArks exposed 318 million records gleaned from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Over 400GB of public and private profile data for a total of 214 million social-media users from around the world has been exposed to the internet

The leak stems from a misconfigured ElasticSearch database owned by Chinese social-media management company SocialArks, which contained personally identifiable information (PII) from users of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms, according to researchers at Safety Detectives.

The server was found to be publicly exposed without password protection or encryption during routine IP-address checks on potentially unsecured databases, researchers said. It contained more than 318 million records in total.

“Our research team was able to determine that the entirety of the leaked data was ‘scraped’ from social-media platforms, which is both unethical and a violation of Facebook’s, Instagram’s and LinkedIn’s terms of service,” researchers said, in a Monday blog post.

Scraped profiles included:

11,651,162 Instagram user profiles; 66,117,839 LinkedIn user profiles; 81,551,567 Facebook user profiles; and 55,300,000 Facebook profiles that were deleted within a few hours after the open server was discovered.

[https://threatpost.com/social-profiles-leaked-chinese-data-scrapers/162936/](https://threatpost.com/social-profiles-leaked-chinese-data-scrapers/162936/)

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