The recent discovery of a data breach indicates that tens of millions of email accounts from three of the largest email service providers — Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo — have been compromised by a Russian hacker.
The data breach was uncovered by Hold Security after they found a Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected a large number of stolen credentials. After eliminating the duplicates from the Russian hacker’s original 1.17 billion records, the company came to a total of 272 million unique IDs.
Of which 40 million came from Yahoo Mail, 33 million accounts from Microsoft and 24 million from Gmail. By far the largest chunk, however, came from Mail.ru with nearly 57 million accounts breached. That’s the majority of the site’s 64 million active users.
With how fond people are of clinging on to favourite passwords and resisting reminders by sites to change their passwords frequently or to more complicated ones, it exposes users to more danger. Hackers can simply reuse old passwords to break into multiple accounts from the same user.
Let this then serve as a big reminder to always use different passwords and to change your passwords frequently. These do not need to be overly complicated, they just need to be complicated enough to not be brute forced by a programme/hacker as detailed in the John Oliver interview with Edward Snowden below: