Russian hackers amass 1.2B stolen Web credentials

The hackers collected data on a massive scale, 'so it affects absolutely everybody,' security firm says

Criminals in Russia have amassed a huge database of 1.2 billion stolen user names and passwords and half a billion email addresses, a U.S.-based Internet security company said Wednesday.

The data, believed to be the single biggest horde of stolen Internet identity information ever collected, was garnered from attacks that reached into every corner of the Web and hit around 420,000 sites, said Hold Security.

"Before, we were amazed when 10,000 passwords [went] missing. Now we're in the age of mass production of stolen information," Alex Holden, the company's founder and chief information security officer, told IDG News Service in a telephone interview.

Hold Security didn't identify the websites that were breached, citing confidentiality agreements with clients, but it said they include household names as well as small websites.

The New York Times, which first reported the story, said it hired an independent security expert who verified that the stolen data is authentic.

The sheer scale of the database appears to dwarf similar discoveries in the past. By comparison, the recent theft from Target affected 40 million credit and debit card numbers and 70 million personal records.

That was one of the largest breaches of all time, but the activities of the Russian gang take identity theft to a new level.

"These guys did nothing new or innovative," said Holden. "They just did it better and on a mass level so it affects absolutely everybody."

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitydata breachHold Security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?