Russian hackers steal over 1 billion usernames, passwords

A US security firm has affirmed that a Russian crime ring has stolen an estimated 1.2 billion passwords, user names, email addresses and other online credentials from some 420,000 websites.

Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Saxena

New Delhi: A US security firm has affirmed that a Russian crime ring has stolen an estimated 1.2 billion passwords, user names, email addresses and other online credentials from some 420,000 websites.

The discovery was made by Hold Security, a Milwaukee, Wisc. firm which specialises in uncovering Internet security breaches. However, Hold Security would not name the victims.
The New York Times (NYT) first reported the breach Tuesday.

Alex Holden, the founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security was quoted saying to NYT, “Hackers did not just target US companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites”.

“And most of these sites are still vulnerable”, he added.
As per reports, the criminals have not sold most of the data collected, but instead, they are using the stolen information to spam social networks like Twitter on behalf of other groups charging some fees for it, as it will be a lucrative deal.

The incident is certainly a call for security experts to become more vigilant.

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