PrivacyHawk Logo

26 Billion Records Exposed: Understanding the Scale of the MOAB (The Mother of All Breaches) Data Breach

26 Billion Records Exposed: Understanding the Scale of the MOAB (The Mother of All Breaches) Data Breach image
Updated: July 9th, 2024


In January 2024, cybersecurity researchers uncovered the largest data breach till now, "Mother of All Breaches" (MOAB). This colossal breach comprises an astounding 12 terabytes of information, spanning over 26 billion records from numerous previous breaches.
The dataset includes user data from major platforms like LinkedIn, Weibo, Tencent, and many others, making it almost certainly the largest data leak ever discovered. This breach stands out not only for its size but for the vast amount of sensitive information it contains, posing unprecedented risks to individuals and organizations worldwide. 

What Exactly is MOAB?

The MOAB breach is not merely a collection of old data but a meticulously compiled and reindexed dataset from thousands of leaks, breaches, and privately sold databases. Despite the presence of reindexed leaks from past breaches, the MOAB likely contains new, previously unpublished data, making it a highly valuable and dangerous compilation.
Researchers believe that the owner of the MOAB might be a malicious actor, a data broker, or a service working with large amounts of data, given the vested interest in storing such vast quantities of information. The dataset is extremely dangerous, as it can be leveraged for various attacks, including identity theft, sophisticated phishing schemes, targeted cyberattacks, and unauthorized access to personal and sensitive accounts.
Although duplicates are highly likely within the 26 billion records, the sheer volume and sensitivity of the data make it invaluable for malicious actors. The records in the MOAB breach are drawn from numerous high-profile platforms and services. The data is suspected to have been compiled by an initial access broker (IAB) with the intent to profit on the dark web, where hackers can purchase it to launch various forms of attacks, including identity theft, credential compromise, and business email compromise.

Who is Affected by the MOAB (Mother of All Breaches)?

The MOAB breach has far-reaching implications, affecting a wide array of individuals and organizations. The leaked data includes information from numerous high-profile platforms and services. According to reports, the sites affected include:
  • Tencent with 1.4 billion records compromised
  • Weibo with 504 million records compromised
  • MySpace with 360 million records compromised
  • Twitter with 281 million records compromised
  • Deezer with 258 million records compromised
  • LinkedIn with 251 million records compromised
  • AdultFriendFinder with 220 million records
  • Zynga with 217 million records
  • Luxottica with 206 million records
  • Zing with 164 million records
  • Adobe with 153 million records compromised
  • MyFitnessPal with 151 million records
  • Canva with 143 million records compromised
  • with 142 million records
  • Badoo with 127 million records
  • Dropbox with 69 million records compromised
This list is not short, indicating the extensive reach of the breach. The compromised data spans major social media platforms, online services, and even government organizations from various countries, including the US, Brazil, Germany, and the Philippines. The breach also involves a significant number of smaller, less-known organizations, underscoring the widespread impact of this data leak.
The compromised data poses severe risks for identity theft, phishing schemes, and targeted cyberattacks, affecting millions, if not billions, of individuals worldwide. This widespread impact highlights the severity and far-reaching consequences of the MOAB breach.
For individuals, the risks are immediate and personal. The reuse of usernames and passwords across different platforms means that a single compromised password can lead to unauthorized access to multiple accounts. Users whose data has been included in the MOAB may become victims of spear-phishing attacks, where attackers use detailed personal information to craft highly convincing emails. Additionally, they may receive an increased volume of spam emails, further complicating their online safety.
Organizations, on the other hand, face the challenge of securing their systems and protecting their customers' data. The reputational damage from being associated with such a large-scale breach can be significant. The MOAB breach serves as a wake-up call for organizations to reevaluate their security measures and ensure they are prepared to handle such large-scale data threats.

What Can Hackers Do With This Data?

The data exposed in the MOAB breach is a treasure trove for cybercriminals, offering a wide array of opportunities for malicious activities. Here are some of the primary ways hackers can exploit this data:

Identity Theft: 

With access to personal identifiable information (PII), cybercriminals can easily commit identity theft. They can use stolen personal information to create fraudulent accounts, apply for credit, and conduct various financial scams.

Phishing Schemes: 

The detailed personal data allows hackers to craft highly convincing phishing emails, tricking individuals into revealing additional sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. These phishing attacks can lead to further data breaches and financial loss.

Credential-Stuffing Attacks: 

Many users reuse passwords across multiple platforms. Hackers can use the leaked username-password pairs to perform credential-stuffing attacks, gaining unauthorized access to various accounts, including email, social media, and banking services.

Targeted Cyberattacks: 

The aggregated dataset provides cybercriminals with the information needed to conduct targeted cyberattacks. They can focus on specific individuals or organizations, increasing the likelihood of a successful breach and maximizing the damage caused.

Unauthorized Access to Sensitive Accounts: 

With a vast amount of sensitive data, hackers can gain unauthorized access to personal and sensitive accounts. This can lead to financial loss, data manipulation, and further exposure to confidential information.

Spear-Phishing Attacks: 

Spear-phishing attacks are more sophisticated and targeted than regular phishing attacks. Using detailed personal information, hackers can create tailored emails that appear legitimate, increasing the chances of the victim falling for the scam.
The MOAB breach underscores the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures. By understanding the potential risks and taking proactive steps to protect personal information, individuals and organizations can better defend against these malicious activities.

How to Protect Your Data from a Data Breach Like MOAB? 

The discovery of the MOAB breach highlights the critical importance of taking immediate action to protect personal data. Here are some essential steps individuals can take to safeguard their information and mitigate the risks associated with this unprecedented data breach.

1. Change Passwords: 

One of the first actions you should take after a breach like MOAB is to change the passwords of all accounts. This includes email, social media, banking, and online shopping accounts. It is crucial to create strong, unique passwords for each account and avoid reusing old passwords. Consider using a password manager to help generate and store strong, unique passwords securely.

2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): 

Enable multi-factor authentication on all your online accounts wherever possible. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification steps, such as a code sent to your phone, when logging in to an account. This makes it significantly harder for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access, even if they have your password.

3. Monitor Accounts: 

Regularly review your accounts for any suspicious activity. Check your bank statements, credit card reports, and other financial accounts for unauthorized transactions or access attempts. Monitoring your credit reports from major bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion is also helpful. To further minimize risk, consider freezing your credit reports until you are assured your data is safe.

4. Beware of Phishing Attempts: 

Criminals might use the MOAB breach to launch phishing attacks using the exposed information. Be cautious of emails, texts, or calls asking for personal information or login credentials. Do not click on links or attachments from unknown senders, and verify the legitimacy of any communication before responding. Always use official channels to check your account information, and do not blindly trust email communications from financial organizations.

5. Update Software: 

Ensure that all your devices, including computers, phones, and tablets, are updated with the latest security patches. Outdated software can have vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit. Keeping your software up to date is a fundamental step in maintaining the security of your devices.

6. Check Network Security: 

If you manage a network, review and strengthen your network security measures. Consider implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and user access controls. Regularly review your network for any vulnerabilities and address them promptly.

7. Use Apps like PrivacyHawk:

To protect your data from massive breaches like the MOAB, it's crucial to take safety measures. PrivacyHawk helps individuals avoid getting affected by data breaches like MOAB. It enables individuals to remove their sensitive information from unneeded and non-essential companies and data broker databases.
Moreover, PrivacyHawk offers a comprehensive ID theft protection suite that includes up to $1 million in ID theft insurance, live phone support, and dark web monitoring and alerts, ensuring you’re covered even if the worst happens. This holistic approach provides peace of mind and robust protection against the ever-present threats of data breaches.
Taking these steps can significantly improve your chances of protecting yourself from the fallout of the MOAB breach. Even if your information was compromised, these measures can help prevent the consequences from being disruptive. Staying informed and vigilant is key to maintaining your online security in the wake of such a significant data breach.


The MOAB breach serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures. With over 26 billion records exposed, the scale and impact of this breach are unprecedented, affecting individuals and organizations worldwide. As we navigate the fallout from this massive data leak, it is crucial to take proactive steps to protect our personal information and ensure our online security.
For this, PrivacyHawk is an essential tool to help users reduce their digital footprint and protect their personal information. It prevents people from falling victim to data breaches and allows them to delete sensitive information from unnecessary and unwanted corporate and data broker databases. By leveraging PrivacyHawk's comprehensive suite of features, individuals can significantly lower their risk of being affected by future data breaches. 
To sum up, we can say that the MOAB breach has highlighted the ever-present risks in our digital world and the need for continuous vigilance and proactive measures. By taking the necessary steps to protect your data and using tools like PrivacyHawk, you can navigate this challenging landscape with greater confidence and security. 
Try It Free
Download on the App Store Badge
Download on the Google Play Store Badge


PrivacyHawk, Inc. © 2024. All right reserved