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Russians Have 1.2B Passwords And Email Combinations

From the fear-mongering New York Times:

Russian Gang Amasses Over a Billion Internet Passwords

By NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID GELLES | August  5, 2014

A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, including 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses, security researchers say.

Is Edward Snowden outraged? Or is he working with the crime ring?

The records, discovered by Hold Security, a firm in Milwaukee, include confidential material gathered from 420,000 websites, including household names, and small Internet sites. Hold Security has a history of uncovering significant hacks, including the theft last year of tens of millions of records from Adobe Systems…

“Hackers did not just target U.S. companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites,” said Alex Holden, the founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security. “And most of these sites are still vulnerable.”

“Companies that rely on user names and passwords have to develop a sense of urgency about changing this,” said Avivah Litan, a security analyst at the research firm Gartner. “Until they do, criminals will just keep stockpiling people’s credentials.” …

So far, the criminals have not sold many of the records online. Instead, they appear to be using the stolen information to send spam on social networks like Twitter at the behest of other groups, collecting fees for their work.

But selling more of the records on the black market would be lucrative.

While a credit card can be easily canceled, personal credentials like an email address, Social Security number or password can be used for identity theft. Because people tend to use the same passwords for different sites, criminals test stolen credentials on websites where valuable information can be gleaned, like those of banks and brokerage firms…

The hacking ring is based in a small city in south central Russia, the region flanked by Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The group includes fewer than a dozen men in their 20s who know one another personally — not just virtually. Their computer servers are thought to be in Russia…

By the way, does anyone ever wonder why Russians are always so often involved in crime? (Hacking, drugs, pornography.)

It’s because under the Soviet system you had to constantly find ways around the system. And that becomes a lifelong habit. A tradition even. And we are heading the same way here.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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