To back up their claims, the hackers accompanied their message with screenshots showing the alleged databases on TikTok. The information came to light hours after Microsoft’s 365 Defender researchers reported finding a high-severity vulnerability in TikTok’s Android app.
TikTok reassures its users about data leak allegations
They added that the server they managed to hack contained more than 2 billion records and 790 GB of data. This astronomical amount of information would contain, according to them, data on users, the source code of the application, information on the server, cookies and authentication tokens.
“We have confirmed that the data samples in question are all publicly available and are not due to a compromise of TikTok’s systems, networks or databases… We do not believe that users should take any proactive measures, and we let us remain committed to the safety and security of our global community.”
It would therefore seem that contrary to what the hackers think, the data they have collected is only information of a public nature. Which is nothing like data theft as they claim.
A computer security expert of the same opinion as TikTok
Troy Hunt who is one of the regional directors of Microsoft went in the same direction as TikTok. He called the data collected by the hackers inconclusive. He then added that it could well be non-production or test data that was not obtained by breach.
The creator of the Have I Been Pwned tool also gave his opinion on alleged data obtained by the same group from the Chinese messaging app WeChat. He could not determine if it was indeed stolen information.
TikTok denies hackers leaked its source code and sensitive user data
A few days ago, a group of hackers known as “AgainstTheWest” shared a post on a hacking forum claiming to have found security flaws in TikTok and WeChat. However, despite what the group says, TikTok has officially denied all reports of hackers leaking its source code and sensitive user data.
Hackers claim that the 790GB database contains over 2 billion records, including user data, platform statistics, software code, tokens, and more.
“This is an incorrect assertion,” a company spokesperson said. According to TikTok, the source code shared on the forum is not related to the company’s platform.
This is an incorrect claim – our security team has investigated this claim and determined that the code in question has no relation to TikTok’s main source code, which has never been merged with data WeChat.
As the report notes, security expert Hunt for Trojans (who is the creator of HaveIBeenPwned) confirmed on Twitter that the TikTok data obtained by the hackers is valid. However, the database does not contain sensitive data. Hunt claims that “some data is junk” since some of it comes from publicly available data.
At the same time, the security expert notes that the database obtained by the hackers contains internal information about the platform. This information is not exactly useful, but if true, it confirms that there is a security hole in TikTok.
TikTok under investigation
After that, TikTok pledged to change the way it handles US-based user data to avoid a ban.
TikTok denies reports that it was hacked
TikTok limits the damage! It is one of the most popular social media platforms, which makes it a prime target for hackers.
Today, TikTok denies reports that it was hacked after a group of hackers posted images of what they claim is a TikTok database containing the platform’s source code and user information.
The hackers shared the alleged database images on a hacking forum, claiming to have obtained the data from a server used by TikTok. They claim that the server stores over 2 billion records and 790 GB of user data, platform statistics, code, and more.
Most of the “stolen” data appears to have been public information scraped from the platform. Troy Hunt, regional manager at Microsoft and creator of the Have I Been Pwned tool, called the hacker data “inconclusive” but speculated “it could be non-production or test data.” which were probably not taken during a violation.
The hacker group, which calls itself “AgainstTheWest”, claims to have also obtained data from Chinese messaging app WeChat. However, Hunt was unable to confirm whether the hackers’ database contained any stolen information.
TikTok and WeChat have come under scrutiny due to their ties to China (ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is based in China). TikTok has taken several steps, such as hosting US data on US-based Oracle servers, in an attempt to reverse recent reports that TikTok employees in China accessed US user information.
Billions of TikTok data compromised? (Update)
The conditional remains de rigueur, but the case animated the cybersecurity community over the weekend. On September 3, posts on the data breach forums began circulating. A user, using the handle AgainTheWest, posted screenshots of an alleged TikTok and WeChat hack. He then asked himself whether he wanted to sell this data or make it public.
In total, the hacker(s) claim the recovery of a 790 GB archive comprising 2.05 billion records. As a reminder, the social network has more than a billion subscribers, so many minors who are very fond of the platform’s content. A link to two samples has been posted, along with a video of a set of database tables.
An inconclusive analysis so far
When these various elements were published, several specialists looked at the samples to verify their veracity. Troy Hunt delivered a first analysis, “So far, it’s pretty inconclusive; some data is production info, although publicly available info. Some data is junk, but it could be non-production or test data.” Ditto for the Twitter account, Defend Intelligence, which began to dissect certain database tables, “in the tables there would be everything, user data, advertising data, audience data, publications, messages… With tables containing information sometimes since 2020 and others completely empty. Which raises questions about the veracity of the leak.