VirusTotal Data Leak Affects 5K+ Users

Some of the users who were impacted include the US Department of Justice, the NSA, and the FBI, alongside German intelligence agencies.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

July 18, 2023

1 Min Read
concept photo of a data breach containing a broken structure over a bunch of code.
Source: Brain Light via Alamy Stock Photo

VirusTotal, the Google-owned online service used to analyze questionable files and URLs to detect malicious material or malware, has experienced a data leak, exposing the data of 5,600 of its users, including some very high-profile people.

Der Speigel, a German publication, had confirmation from Google that the leaked data includes names and email addresses of employees from various backgrounds, including those from US and German intelligence agencies; official bodies of the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Great Britain; and large, well-known German companies, such as BMW and Mercedes Benz, among others.

VirusTotal is used in a manner where files that are uploaded by users into the interface can contain sensitive data, putting organizations and their data at risk. Though passwords remain concealed, the usernames and email addresses that were leaked in this data breach  are enough for threat actors to be able to spear-phish anyone who was affected by the breach.

"We are aware of the unintentional distribution of a small segment of customer group administrator emails and organization names by one of our employees on the VirusTotal platform," a Google Cloud spokesperson told The Hacker News when asked for comments on the data leak. "We removed the list from the platform within an hour of its posting and we are looking at our internal processes and technical controls to improve our operations in the future."

About the Author(s)

Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

Keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats, newly discovered vulnerabilities, data breach information, and emerging trends. Delivered daily or weekly right to your email inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights