26 Jun 2020 11:22

Two major databases of users' personal data leaked - newspaper

MOSCOW. June 26 (Interfax) - There has been a leak of personal data of over 12 million users of the Telegram messenger and the Superjob.ru Internet portal, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper said on Friday.

"Two major user databases have been leaked on the Internet at the same time, those of the Telegram messenger and the Superjob.ru portal. Representatives of the recruiting service denied the online leak of their database, yet things are not that simple with Telegram. According to the Kod Durova portal, the leaked database contains personal data of at least 12 million Russian users of the messenger," it said.

"Telegram representatives insist that over 60% of all data is not current," Yevgeny Lifshits, a member of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies, and Communication, told the newspaper.

"This is not some leaked integral database but rather a table comprising two major leaks of the previous years. Those tables were not leaked either, they were composed by a parser on the basis of analysis of social media profiles, etc. (besides, most users are from Iran, not from Russia)," Lifshits said.

"The unique Telegram identifiers were collected by abusing the built-in import-contact feature. The problem existed earlier and was resolved in 2019, so the database is obviously quite old," the newspaper quoted Lifshits as saying.

It is extremely difficult to prevent leaks of the sort, he said.

"It is quite easy to link your name to the phone number and the social media account. This is a new reality, and one has to learn how to live in it," Lifshits said.