Millions of Gmail accounts said to be impacted by data breach
The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru (MAILRq.L), Russia’s most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google (GOOGL.O), Yahoo (YHOO.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) email users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security.
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It is one of the biggest stashes of stolen credentials to be uncovered since cyber attacks hit major U.S. banks and retailers two years ago.
Holden was previously instrumental in uncovering some of the world’s biggest known data breaches, affecting tens of millions of users at Adobe Systems (ADBE.O), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Target (TGT.N) and exposing them to subsequent cyber crimes.
The data breach was uncovered by Hold Security, according to Reuters:
After eliminating duplicates, Holden said, the cache contained nearly 57 million Mail.ru accounts – a big chunk of the 64 million monthly active email users Mail.ru said it had at the end of last year. It also included tens of millions of credentials for the world’s three big email providers, Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo, plus hundreds of thousands of accounts at German and Chinese email providers.
In total, it appears that 40 million Yahoo Mail credentials were compromised, along with 33 million Microsoft accounts, and almost 24 million from Gmail. Thousands of these accounts are said to belong to employees of major U.S. companies.
Now might be a good time to change your password, and perhaps enable two-step authentication for your accounts.