Russian Hackers Might Have Your Password
Small group has stolen about 1.2B, biggest known collection: NY Times
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2014 5:56 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If all the previous reports about Internet security breaches and stolen passwords weren't enough to scare you into changing your info, this one might: The New York Times reports that a small group of Russian hackers has collected 1.2 billion username and password combos, along with about half as many email addresses. The report, based on findings from a Milwaukee company called Hold Security, doesn't offer specifics about which sites have been compromised but says they range from tiny ones to those of Fortune 500 companies. As of now, there's no way to tell whether the hackers have gotten your information, though Hold says it's working on a tool for that.

The hackers apparently haven't sold the stolen info and are instead using it to send out spam on Twitter and other social networks for other groups and to collect fees for their trouble. But they would presumably make big bucks if they eventually opt to sell, given the habit of many people to use the same passwords at multiple sites and thus the ability to transform all this information into lucrative identity theft. "Hackers are continuing to outpace the digital security precautions of so many companies and organizations that it's starting to feel like a losing battle," writes Kate Knibbs at Gizmodo. For now, "there aren't many practical steps people can take besides changing their information regularly."

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Showing 3 of 67 comments
nikodelasse
Aug 7, 2014 5:15 AM CDT
It's relatively easy to have a unique password for each site and be able to remember it ..... How to pass on this excellent tip without helping the bad guys? I will think carefully. The trick is to link where one uses the password with what you will not forget. The problem for all of us is the trade off between convenience and security. Folks need to read your short piece very carefully. You have given a crucial piece of information and so do I. In combination, and observing the well known rules about nonsense words and phrases, how confident one is about depending on ones memory and the uniqueness of everyone. There's endless scope for choosing unique but unforgettable passwords for every where and everything. No device or pencil and paper needed. What's unique about you? Even if you're in your birthday suit? When you tap on the keyboard or keypad where are you? Where are you seeking to go, what are you seeking to do? What's unique, observable, unforgettable yet unnecessary to remember or write down?
Ms_Angie
Aug 6, 2014 4:06 PM CDT
Dang, maybe I should go back to the old fashioned way of banking.......
crackalacka
Aug 6, 2014 8:34 AM CDT
Stolen before or after Heartbleed bug a couple months ago?? I changed all my sh*t, really don't wanna do it again...........