Your monthly reminder to reset your password has arrived, as one of the most substantial data leaks in recent years has surfaced, outing nearly 2.7 billion records.
Troy Hunt, a well-known security researcher, went public this week with news of a humongous breach that saw 773m unique email IDs and 21m unique passwords being dumped out into the world.
Hunt said that multiple people reached out to him last week to make him away of some 12,000 files that contained nearly 2.7 billion records. This was originally hosted on MEGA, and though it’s since been canned from the platform, the data is still doing the rounds on several hacking forums.
Compromised emails and passwords are now available in certain areas in a dehashed format, organised by category. This is bad news, if you’re one of the people listed.
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The best way to find out if you’ve been affected is with the Have I Been Pwned tool, also created by Hunt. This tool is stupendously useful, as Troy has often kept it up to date with data dumps from various site’s breaches.
To check if you’ve been breached, either in this wedge of information or at some other stage, you can go to the website and enter your email in the dialog box. If you’ve been breached, you’ll be told where and how. Then it’s probably a good idea to go change some passwords, or get a password manager.
You know, just in case.
It can get you by surprise too, checking for myself, it turns out my email was compromised in a breach of a browser game that I played several years ago for a couple of evenings. Whoops.
You can also search passwords to verify if they’ve been breached too. Here, i’ve got good news. My passwords are, for the moment, totally safe.
This is a substantial breach, with a massive amount of data leaked. If you’ve been affected, or even if you haven’t, it would be smart to consider shuffling up your password, getting a password manager or enabled two factor authentication.