06th May 2016
This is no joke! International wire agency Reuters quotes security expert Alex Holden of Hold Security to suggest that a whopping 273 million online accounts have been compromised. Yes! You read it right… it is 273.3 million emails.
The mail hacking could result in usernames and passwords of millions of people getting exposed to malicious attacks. The data breach reportedly accounts for 57 million accounts of Russian email provider Mail.ru, 40 million from Yahoo mail, 33 million Hotmail accounts and 24 million Gmail accounts.
Since there is no way of guessing whether your email doesn’t figure in one of these lists, we suggest you take a minute and change all your passwords.
The breach also accounts for several thousand German and Chinese email addresses as well as username/ password combinations that could belong to employees from the banking, manufacturing and retail companies headquartered in the United States.
The report quotes Hold Security officials to state that they stumbled upon this data directly from the hacker, who was selling it for an absurdly low figure of less than a dollar. The agency managed to convince the hacker to part with the data, and have since been informing companies about the security breach.
Of course, the security breach is not massive when juxtaposed against the total number of existing email users in the world. It may be recalled that Google had recently announced that over a billion people were using their mail service while Yahoo and Hotmail too have a large share of email users.
It is a different matter that an anonymous hacker could so easily breach the security framework and compromise such a large number of emails at one shot. One can only shudder when we think of the consequences of a similar attack, more vicious and more concerted by one of the many terror outfits in the world.
At Techtree, we suggest that if you are among those who find avoid changing passwords regularly due to lack of time or sheer laziness, this could be one occasion that merits a bit of action on that front.
Watch Out! Your Email Could Get Hacked Soon
Media reports a massive data breach. It is imperative that you change your passwords… like Right Now!
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