It seems 2019 isn’t off to that good of a start, as a new data breach has reportedly occurred and 773 million emails with 21 million unique passwords worldwide have been compromised. This makes it the largest data breach since the Yahoo incident in 2013.
So how did this happen? We aren’t sure at all, but what we do know is people spotted a mammoth data dump on file hosting service MEGA and contacted security researcher Troy Hunt about it all. This all came from 12,000 files on MEGA, including roughly 2.7 billion records with a total file size of 87GB. The files have since been taken down, but Troy Hunt has revealed that they are still available on a popular hacking forum that shall not be named for obvious reasons.
On the hacking forms, the post describes this data dump as a “collection of 2000+ dehased databases and combos stored by topic”.
Troy Hunt explains in a detailed blog post that:
Last week, multiple people reached out and directed me to a large collection of files on the popular cloud service, MEGA (the data has since been removed from the service). The collection totalled over 12,000 separate files and more than 87GB of data. One of my contacts pointed me to a popular hacking forum where the data was being socialised, complete with the following image:
If you want to find out (and you really should) if your email or passwords have been affected, then there is a quick and easy solution, thankfully. All you need to do is head on over to the website “Have I Been Pwned” and follow the simple steps, looking for Collection #1. If you have been “pwned” then you should take the necessary security steps, such as changing your passwords, getting two-step verification wherever possible and more.
Hopefully, none of our readers is affected and I, for one, hope that a great big investigation into this data breach will take place soon and the “hackers” brought to justice. It is never a good feeling when you think your personal email or password might be compromised. Unfortunately, my email account is one of those affected…
What do you think about this mammoth data breach and have you been affected or know of anyone who has? Let us know in the comment section below.