Technology: Stealing Passwords

A group of Russian hackers have pulled off something that practically anyone would deem impossible. The criminals have stolen approximately 1.2 billion Internet usernames and passwords. Thankfully, it has been reported that this information is not being used to hack into people’s bank accounts or any other vaults of very valuable information. Instead, the crime ring has been using this information to send out spam for fake products, such as weight-loss supplements. The theft was discovered by Hold Security, a firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The firm did not say which websites the hackers stole the information from. However, Hold Security has reported that the hackers stole information from approximately 420,000 websites—some of those being big websites, and others being small websites. About 500 million of the usernames stolen by the group are email addresses, giving the hackers an edge into affecting the email accounts of all of those users. The hackers make their money by logging into the accounts after they steal the usernames and passwords, and sending bogus messages to users’ contacts to advertise the fake products. This shows the need for websites to tighten their security measures.

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