The Accounts Uncovering Corporate Data Leaks Before They Go Viral

In the wake of the AT&T data breach, which exposed 73 million current and former customer accounts on the dark web, organizations are facing heightened concerns regarding data security and reputation management. As brands seek to stay ahead of data leaks, PeakMetrics' latest data uncovers a crucial set of news sites reporting on hacks before they go viral.

Detect. Decipher. Defend. 

Detect: PeakMetrics detected early reporting patterns of the recent AT&T data breach that matched online coverage of previous data breaches targeting major corporations. Before these data leak stories gained traction in mainstream media, key cybersecurity news blogs reported on breaches at AT&T, PandaBuy, Bank of America, and 23andMe.

For example, on March 30, AT&T publicly announced its investigation of a data breach involving the personal data of 73 million customers and began notifying those affected. Thirteen days earlier, PeakMetrics detected the first mentions of the AT&T data breach on Twitter — from VX Underground — and on the news site — Security Affairs. In the following days, other cybersecurity blogs and news outlets began reporting on the emerging story. For nearly two weeks, this data leak story ran rampant in the technology and cybersecurity blog space before AT&T publicly addressed it. 

Decipher: PeakMetrics pinpointed 10 influential news sites that were at the forefront of reporting recent breaches affecting AT&T,  PandaBuyBank of America, and 23andMe. These outlets consistently surfaced data breach stories before they were picked up by mainstream media channels.

Monitoring these key news sites gives brands a strategic advantage by allowing them to take proactive measures to address early press coverage of corporate data breaches rather than reacting once these stories go viral.

Top Early Reporters on Corporate Data Breaches:

Defend:  In the absence of new comments from AT&T, the early coverage appeared to recycle quotes from AT&T from 2021 — denying that the 2021 data leak originated in their systems. By identifying who is the earliest to cover data breach stories, teams can act faster to take control of the narrative.

PeakMetrics recommends incorporating these 10 news outlets into an early listening list, connecting that list to a technical incident process, and flagging mentions of your brand as a kick-off trigger.

AT&T might have responded to this story earlier if they had been triggered by an early listening list featuring the cybersecurity blogs identified by PeakMetrics. With earlier detection and understanding of the emerging narrative, we assess AT&T could have established authority sooner and shaped the narrative, leading to a better, more controlled outcome.

PeakMetrics analyzes more than 1.5 million media sources and 10 different social media platforms to identify media manipulation and adversarial attacks in real-time. Request a demo.

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