Hackers Expose 8.4 Billion Passwords Post them Online in Possibly Largest Dump of Passwords Ever
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Hackers released data on 8.4 billion passwords this week and put the information online. This could be the largest online dump of passwords ever.
Surprisingly, this doesn’t make a lot of headlines in mainstream media.
Just before Apple CEO Tim Cook took the virtual stage on the campus of the iPhone maker’s Apple Park headquarters for WWDC 2021 on Monday – where the company unveiled a ton of new software updates, including some major new privacy enhancements – one landed Email in my inbox how important these privacy features will be once they are introduced with iOS 15. Basically, there was another huge data leak, this time with billions of passwords in what is perhaps the largest dump of passwords on the Internet of all time.
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That news came through the CyberNews team, who reported that a 100 GB text file containing a staggering 8.4 billion password entries just leaked on a popular hacking forum. This record presumably combines passwords stolen through previous data breaches and leaks and is referred to as the “RockYou2020” password leak in this hacking forum. According to CyberNews, this name was apparently chosen as a reference to the RockYou data breach in 2009 “when threat actors hacked into the servers of the social app website and held more than 32 million user passwords stored in clear text” . . “
Suffice it to say, if you read these words, you will likely need to change your passwords. Today even. This is because this new password leak is comparable in scope to the so-called “Compilation of Many Breaches” or COMB, which we wrote about earlier this year. That previous compilation was essentially a huge database of more than 3.2 billion email and password pairings based on existing data stolen from previous security breaches and leaks from companies like Netflix and LinkedIn.
This new leaked password record is of course more than twice the size of the previous collection. And when you stop and consider that there are more than 7 billion people in the world, it means that there is a very high probability that one of your myriad passwords is implicated in this leak. CyberNews recommends anyone who wants to check whether their passwords are included in this data set to visit the CyberNews Leak Checker for personal data or the Leaked Password Checker, in which password entries from the RockYou2021 compilation are uploaded.
“By combining 8.4 billion unique password variations with other sets of security breaches that include usernames and email addresses, threat actors can use the RockYou2021 suite to launch password dictionary and password spray attacks against myriad online accounts start, ”notes CyberNews.