Russian hackers harvest user data of 1.2 billion

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A Russian gang of hackers have reportedly gained access to 1.2 billion usernames and passwords worldwide including some of the biggest companies in the world.

The US firm, ‘Hold Security’, have announced that over 500 million emails were obtained from over 420,000 websites including both small companies and some of the most prestigious in the world.

However the company that is a specialist in identifying breaches will not give the names of those affected publicly as they believe it potentially unsafe to users still prone to the hackers. The New York Times say;  “Hold Security would not name the victims, citing nondisclosure agreements and a reluctance to name companies whose sites remained vulnerable.”

The Russian gang months into their planning gained information after purchasing databases of stolen information used to target social media and websites for their vital credentials. Reportedly the group used ‘botnets’, a system of infected computers with malware, to examine and identify websites easy to target.

´Hold Security´ are said to have then offered a paid service for those who wished to know if they had been affected for £71 but have since displayed a message on their site saying ´Coming Soon’.

 

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