APIs have become a critical component of modern software development, allowing organizations to connect different systems and applications seamlessly. However, as the use of APIs has grown, so has the threat landscape. In 2022, API security incidents were among the biggest cybersecurity challenges that organizations faced.

In this article, we take a look back at some of the notable API security incidents that occurred in 2022.

The Impact of API Security Incidents

API security incidents can have far-reaching consequences, from financial losses to reputational damage. When APIs are compromised, hackers can gain access to sensitive data and use it for nefarious purposes. The impact of these incidents can be devastating for organizations, especially when they involve large-scale data breaches.

The Trend in 2022

Akamai Technologies, Inc. released a report in November 2022 indicating a significant surge in web application and API attacks on financial service institutions, with a staggering 257% increase compared to the previous year.

Notable API Security Incidents in 2022

Here are some of the notable API security incidents that occurred in 2022:

  1. Twitter: In July 2022, cybercriminals began selling the user data of more than 5.4 million Twitter users on a hacking forum after exploiting an API vulnerability disclosed in December 2021. The exploit enabled hackers to submit email addresses or phone numbers to the API to identify which account they were linked to.
  2. Optus: In September 2022, Australia's second-largest telecommunications company, Optus, faced a US$1 million extortion demand to prevent the sale of what an attacker claimed were up to 11.2 million sensitive customer records. According to a "senior figure" inside Optus, an API for an Optus customer identity database was opened to a test network that "happened to have internet access."
  3. T-Mobile: In December 2022, T-Mobile revealed that a threat actor stole the personal information of 37 million postpaid and prepaid customer accounts via an exposed API (which they exploited between November 25, 2022, and January 5, 2023). The vendor did not share how the hackers exploited the API.


API security incidents can have serious consequences for organizations. As the use of APIs continues to grow, it is essential to prioritize API security to mitigate the risk of cyber threats. By adopting a comprehensive approach to API security, organizations can reduce the risk of breaches, protect customer data, and maintain their reputation and trust.