Talking tech since 2003

It’s happened again: another security breach has hit the Internet, and your data could have been compromised. Yesterday, news hit that about 5 million usernames and passwords were posted to a Russian Bitcoin forum by hackers – but Google says that the majority of users don’t actually have much to worry about.

According to Google’s statement on the password dump, it seems that “less than 2% of the username and password combinations might have worked, and our automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts. We’ve protected the affected accounts and have required those users to reset their passwords.”

However, Google didn’t hesitate to remind readers that it’s always important to use strong passwords, and keep them unique from site to site.

“It’s important to note that in this case and in others, the leaked usernames and passwords were not the result of a breach of Google systems. Often, these credentials are obtained through a combination of other sources.

For instance, if you reuse the same username and password across websites, and one of those websites gets hacked, your credentials could be used to log into the others. Or attackers can use malware or phishing schemes to capture login credentials.”

While the actual effect of this breach seems to be relatively limited, we’re living in a time when there are a whole lot of websites storing login information that can be easily breached. If users don’t try and differentiate their passwords across the many different sites they use every day, they might find themselves vulnerable. The recent iCloud breach is reminder enough of that – but if for some reason you weren’t convinced, take this opportunity to change your passwords now.

And if you’re worried that your account may have been affected, visit this link and enter your account info to see.

[Google Security Blog]

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