Russian Email Service Hack 2016
Don't Freak Out, but Hackers May Have Gotten Access to Your Email
You might want to change your password ASAP. Due to a massive hack, approximately 270 million email usernames and passwords have been exposed and left vulnerable to a shady, underground network of criminals in Russia. The majority of compromised accounts are from a popular Russian email service, Mail.ru, but the breech has also affected Gmail, Yahoo, and Microsoft credentials.
According to Reuters, the hack was uncovered when the experts at Hold Security found a Russian hacker openly boasting about it in an online forum. The hacker also disclosed that he was planning to sell all the account information he had gathered. In total, 24 million Gmail, 40 million Yahoo, and 33 million Microsoft accounts were exposed.
One security officer, Alex Holden, discussed the magnitude of the situation to Reuters. "This information is potent," he said. "It is floating around in the underground and this person has shown he's willing to give the data away to people who are nice to him." Holden also spoke about the bleak outlook for these passwords. "These credentials can be abused multiple times," he said.
Then it got really weird. Apparently when the hacker was approached by Hold Security, he said he would agree to hand over all the data so long as the firm just posted nice comments about him in popular hacker forums. So, problem solved, right? Well, it's recommended that you still change your password if you happen to have an account with one of the affected services . . . just in case.