Millions of Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo email account details have been hacked

by Lawrence Cooper May 4, 2016, 23:01

The account details of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and are just four of the services affected.

Apparently, Holden discovered this massive data leak when he was browsing some hacker forums, where he found a young Russian hacker asking for 50 rubles for the whole information dump. He claims to have found the details of 272.3 million stolen accounts being traded across the Russian criminal underworld.

In total, it appears that 40 million Yahoo Mail credentials were compromised, along with 33 million Microsoft accounts, and nearly 24 million from Gmail. Other email services from China and Germany were also in the data. It's not clear if any of these accounts have actually been breached. Thousands of these accounts are said to belong to employees of major US companies.

Data from around 97 million accounts have been stolen as part of a huge cyber attack that is thought to affect around 272.3 million users worldwide, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security.

"We already reached out and keep reaching out to different services that have a lot of those credentials", he said. What makes this discovery more significant is the hacker's willingness to share these credentials virtually for free, increasing the number of... malicious people who might have this information. But the security company received a copy after it agreed to post positive comments about the Russian in various hacker forums. Because Holden has the policy not to pay for stolen data, the eventual deal was that Holden had to like and vote on a social media page.

A spokesperson told Reuters, "We are now checking, whether any combinations of usernames/passwords match users' e-mails and are still active".

Google moves quickly to rectify compromised accounts it detects, but can not speak to specific incidents, according to the search giant. For instance, if you reuse the same username and password across websites, and one of those websites gets hacked, your credentials could be used to log into the others.

The hackers can use the credentials to use your email address to start a phishing email scam.

Yahoo and Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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