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1.2 billion Internet credentials stolen by Russian hackers

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Last Updated: Aug 6, 2014

Russian hackers might have amassed the largest amount of Internet credentials available in the world, according to Hold Security, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin security company who revealed the information on Tuesday.

Hold Security claims the Russia hacking group managed to break into 420,000 websites, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small websites, all vulnerable to attack. The names of these websites have not been disclosed, due to continued security issues.

The hacks were worldwide as well, normally hackers go for Internet companies based in a certain country (primarily the United States), but Hold Security claims this hacking group didn’t care where the web service was based.

Currently, this report still has a lacklustre amount of evidence attached to it. Hold Security has no reason to lie about the hack, but the scale of the credentials stolen could be taken into questioning, unless Hold Security reveal their sources.

1.2 billion credentials could lead to massive abuses by the hackers. Under a third are currently on websites selling the information, but this is still around 340 million credentials available for anyone to get a hold of, for a price.

Hacking one web service and grabbing a user’s account name and password is enough to take it all. Normally, people use the same account name and password on most of their services, giving hackers more opportunity to steal information.

Cyber-security analysts believe this problem could “mushroom” into something even worse. If the report is true, Russian hackers are capable of breaking into thousands of web services, offering the service to millions of users per day.

This could lead to massive change in security on the Internet, in order to make sure no information is easily stolen. Right now, analysts and experts are looking into the damages and problems that could arise from the hacks.

Source: The New York Times

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