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Hacker Selling Over 270 Million Compromised Email Accounts

People rely on online emails for everything from business needs to keeping up with their everyday lives. So when it turns out that a hacker is selling 273.3 million email accounts online, people are naturally worried.

The millions of accounts were found online by security expert Alex Holden of Hold Security. The 270 million accounts list 53 million from Russian email provider Mail.ru, 40 million from Yahoo Mail, 33 million from Hotmail and 24 million Gmail accounts. Alongside the public emails, there is a long list of accounts belonging to U.S. staff within banking, manufacturing and retail companies.

Hold Security found the data when a hacker attempted to sell them the data for less than $1, with the hacker instead accepting “favourable comments” in hacking forums to raise the hackers profile. With the promise of the praise, the hacker turned over the data. Hold securities began informing the affected companies 10 days of the breach, even providing them with the stolen data.

With the data offering thousands of accounts to the wider public, and people’s tendency to reuse their passwords across multiple sites and services, the repercussions from such a wide range of accounts going online could affect thousands of companies and even government agencies. While in the grand scope of things the number of email accounts used on an everyday basis, people may wish to change their passwords just to ensure they remain safe.

Gareth Andrews

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