According to Hold Security, an Internet research firm, in roughly the last three weeks alone their researchers have discovered that the login and password information for roughly 360 million online accounts has been posted online and even put up for sale in some instances. The information was likely leaked as a result of multiple infiltrations into company and customer data bases by hackers.
Of the 360 million credentials, about 105 million contained login information paired with their passwords. However, it’s unknown what accounts those paired logins and passwords corresponded with. On top of that, Hold Security also discovered that roughly 1.25 billion email addresses were circulating through the hacker-sphere. Though a simple list of email addresses sans passwords may sound harmless, the addresses could be used by those who proliferate email-based spam to stuff those accounts with iffy messages. This comes after multiple breaches like those suffered by Target, Nieman Marcus, and Adobe, sounding multiple alarms and calling attention to the current state of Internet security.
When speaking with PCWorld, Alex Holden, the chief information officer for Hold Security, had this to say:
“We don’t know who has been breached.Ultimately, we are trying to figure out who the players are.” Holden also noted that “hackers are switching their tactics.” Instead of setting their sights on individuals, they’re seemingly casting huge nets and grabbing as much data as they can get their hands on.