Despite reports that TikTok’s servers were hacked, the company denies the allegations. ByteDance has claimed that the data leaked was only temporary and has reassured its users that the data is not available to any third party.
AgainstTheWest claims to have gained access to a temporary storage location containing TikTok and WeChat data
AgainstTheWest (ATW), a hacktivist group with ties to the Killnet forum, announced on Thursday that it had breached a Russian cybersecurity company. During a 24-hour period, the group posted URLs for seven leaks.
The pro-Russian group has been threatening Ukraine for several weeks. The group claims to have attacked several Russian technical companies and organizations. It has also targeted Ukrainian cyber services. In addition, the group has uploaded personal information on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The data leaks are a result of a cyberattack that occurred on February 24. In the wake of the attack, SITA, a major Russian air carrier, chose to pull out of Russia. Moreover, the company said that it was not allocating funds to buy backups for its systems. TikTok is a popular video-sharing app that harvests data from its users. It also allows Beijing to access sensitive data.
The archive contains over 116GB of data, including technical documents and company emails. Many of the files are executables. It’s unclear how the hacker got access to the data. However, it’s likely that the data contains sensitive documents and agreements between Russian government officials.
In addition to the TikTok and WeChat data, AgainstTheWest also trolled a Russian company named “RostProekt”. It’s a “federal scale service” supplier in Russia that provides contract employees to critical government and corporate businesses. Its head office is located in Moscow Oblast. It may impact construction projects in Russia.
In addition to TikTok, the group also trolled a Russian construction company. The archive contains a variety of files, including drawings and marketing data. The company is owned by Alexander Vinokurov, the son-in-law of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Larov.
The hacker released video of one set of database samples. The files are a mix of images, drawings, and executables. It’s unclear whether the data has been fabricated or if it is genuine. The hacker also posted two data samples, which are reportedly connected to APT17.
TikTok denies the allegations. However, the company is reportedly working on a new system with Oracle. Its spokesperson said that there is no evidence that TikTok suffered a security breach.
ByteDance denies all reports of hacking
During a recent hearing in the Senate, a TikTok executive was asked about the source of TikTok’s user data. He denied that Chinese engineers had access to it. He also denied that TikTok has sent user information to China, and that it has been censored of certain material. He testified that the data of Americans on TikTok was overseen by a U.S.-based security team.
The question is, what data was actually taken? Independent security researcher Bob Diachenko, who operates under the Twitter handle “Mayhem Day One”, initially posted that TikTok had a data breach. He was unable to confirm this claim, however.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is Chinese. TikTok claims that it has never had user data sent to China, and has partnered with Oracle to store data for American users. However, many countries are concerned that TikTok sends user information to China. TikTok recently migrated US data to US-based servers.
There are reports that a hacker group called “Against The West” has accessed TikTok’s user data. This group has also claimed that they have access to an insecure cloud server and the source code for TikTok’s platform. They posted pictures and screenshots of the alleged database on a public hacking forum. They claimed that it contained over 2 billion records.
Several reports also claim that ByteDance has a data breach, but the company has denied any claims. TikTok has also refuted reports that its CEO and head of security has links to China.
The company has also denied reports that it has a hacker-friendly business model. TikTok’s parent company, byteDance, has been criticized by both American and Chinese lawmakers. This criticism has been backed by President Donald Trump, who has signed an executive order banning transactions with TikTok. He also called for the company to remove its app from the app store.
TikTok has also been criticized for its lack of privacy measures. Some users have complained that they have had their personal details and accounts stolen. TikTok has also been criticized by American lawmakers for its censorship practices. TikTok has responded to these criticisms by announcing that it has no plans to make user data public.
ByteDance’s Virginia data center may remain accessible from its Beijing offices
Despite being the technology partner of TikTok, ByteDance has been on a data-storage blitz in the US. The company has leased space in several colocation data centers in the US. In addition, ByteDance has acquired land in Virginia’s “Data Centre Alley” for a new facility. The new facility will be equipped with 53 megawatts of data centre capacity, enough to house hundreds of thousands of servers for cloud computing and data processing.
ByteDance’s data-storage spree has been made possible by a variety of leases from Digital Realty, Vantage Data Centers, Aligned Energy, and others. These include a 232,000 square foot lease at One Five One in Times Square, a 20MW lease from Digital Realty in Ashburn, a 52MW lease from Digital Realty in Sterling, and an 8MW lease from Vantage Data Centers in Sterling.
In addition to leasing space, ByteDance has also purchased land for a new facility in Virginia’s “Data Centre Alley” that will be equipped with 53 megawatts of capacity, enough to house hundreds of thousands of high-performance servers for cloud computing and data processing. This facility is the first in the United States to be equipped with the “green channel,” a new data request system that will allow users to request their data in an encrypted format.
Despite a long history of ties to China, TikTok executives have avoided directly stating whether ByteDance has been influenced by Beijing, or if its decision making processes are merely a product of a neo-liberal Chinese government. In addition, executives have declined to comment on the aforementioned TikTok – TikTok – TikTok. However, one TikTok employee says that managers in Beijing are actively interfering with the company’s operations. This is not the first time that this has been said.
Despite a long history of connections to China, TikTok’s future in the US remains in flux. The company has been working on a plan to break its global operations into a US-based entity that would be owned by a US investor. This has not been completed, but if it were, it would be a watershed moment for TikTok. It also is a political stalemate for ByteDance.
ByteDance wants to remove any doubt about the security of user data
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News reported that the Chinese tech giant ByteDance had access to nonpublic data on US TikTok users. According to BuzzFeed, ByteDance employees had repeated access to the private information of TikTok users, even though US users had not provided ByteDance with permission to do so.
The news comes as TikTok faces new scrutiny over data practices. In June, Republican senators raised concerns about TikTok’s data practices. In a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, the senators asked for answers about data security. Chew responded that TikTok is working to limit access to user data. The senators asked for more information about how TikTok and Oracle were planning to limit Chinese access to user data in the United States.
TikTok has stated that all US user data will be stored in Oracle servers. TikTok said that it had migrated US user data to Oracle servers and that the entire US user traffic was being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. However, BuzzFeed News says that TikTok is still using two data centers in the United States and Singapore for backup.
According to BuzzFeed, audio recordings of TikTok internal meetings obtained by BuzzFeed showed that Chinese ByteDance employees had sweeping access to US user data. The recordings, which date between September 2021 and January 2019, show employees repeatedly accessing nonpublic data about US TikTok users. The recordings also show that TikTok employees have access to private US user data, even though US users had not provided ByteDance permission to do so.
BuzzFeed reported that ByteDance’s employees had access to TikTok’s internal systems, which enable data flow between the United States and China. This is why ByteDance feared that US user data could be passed to China.
TikTok told US senators that it was taking steps to limit access to user data. The company said it was working with Oracle to develop a secure cloud environment for US users. However, the company said that it was still working to develop a technology framework that would ensure US businesses would have a 12.5% stake in TikTok.
The company said it has begun to hire a team of United States Technical Services employees. A team member told a colleague that Chinese nationals are not permitted to join the team.