Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Users at Risk of Having Their Usernames And Passwords Leaked

272 million usernames have been stolen and were put up for sale by Russian hackers

Most Popular

Thousands of Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail users have had their usernames and passwords stolen and put up for sale on black market by Russian hackers.

The security breach was uncovered by security firm Hold Security after its researchers uncovered a hacker bragging about the details in a forum. It could be one of the largest in recent times as it affects a whopping 272 million usernames and passwords, although half of these are for Russia's largest email service Mail.ru.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Initially the hacker offered the details for sale for just 50 roubles (around 50p) but surrendered the information for nothing after Hold researchers agreed to post favourable comments about him in hacker forums. 

Who is affected?

Usernames and passwords from Yahoo accounted for 15% of all the personal information stolen, while 12% was for Hotmail accounts and 9% affected Gmail usernames and passwords. However, there's no way of knowning which accounts have been affected.

Most Popular

Microsoft said usernames and password being stolen on is an 'unfortunate reality'. 'Microsoft has security measures in place to detect account compromise and requires additional information to verify the account owner and help them regain sole access,' the tech giant said. Gmail and Yahoo have yet to comment on the breach.

What should I do?

If you have a Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail account the GHI recommends you change you password immediately as there's no way of knowing what email addresses have been stolen.

Make sure it's a strong secure password. Never use your maiden name, favourite football team, pet's name or any other personal information that could be available to fraudsters on social networks.  Instead opt for a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols in your password and if it makes it easier to remember, add on a word for the website you're using. So 'telephone' could be 'T£leph6ne-bank' or 'T£leph6ne-energy'.  If in doubt, Check how long it takes to crack your password at howsecureismypassword.net - sometimes it's only a matter of minutes!

Hackers know that many of use the same password for all of their online accounts so not only will they try to access the original email address they will try other popular accounts too. So also change the password on any account that shares the password that stolen to begin with.

Via

What do you think?

Life
Share
These Are The Five Foods That Starve Your Fat Cells
Eating these will actually help you shed your fat , think of them as an answer to your fitness prayers.
Life
Share
7 Health Issues in Your Body—Identified By Your Handwriting!
We bet you didn't see this coming...
Life
Share
Facebook is Introducing This Brilliant New Feature to Protect Women in India
Well, at least it's a start.
Life
Share
Online Art Dealing: An Insider's Look
Cosmo caught up with Sonali Batra, Founder of greatbanyanart.com, about the trappings of an online-art-gallery owner's life...
Life
Share
10 Easy Ways To Join The Health Bandwagon
Killing cravings is nowhere on the list!
Life
Share
Looking For a Model Life? Meet Your Match...
Elegant, confident, and powerfully simple—the all-new Volvo S90 has all the making of a supermodel. Here's why.
Life
Share
Women Are Using This Gym Hack to Get Extra-Bubbly Butts
Here's what you need to know about it.
Life
Share
This Summer Sushi HAS To Be On Your June Food Wishlist
You didn't think sushi could improve, but it has.
Life
Share
Here's Why You Are Unforgettable, Based On Your Zodiac Sign!
Breaking down the science of exactly what makes people flock towards you!
Life
Share
5 Beauty Secrets of Flight Attendants
Nobody knows how to stay pretty at 45,000 feet better than them.