Google estimates 1.9 billion usernames are available on the black market

sticky-password-premium-deal
Research carried out by Google in association with the University of California, Berkeley has established that there are 1.9 billion usernames and passwords being traded on the black market. What’s more, as many of 25 percent of these stolen credentials could actually be used to access a legitimate Google account.

The report used Google’s proprietary data to investigate whether or not the pilfered passwords would unlock the door to working accounts, according to Business Insider. Unfortunately, it confirmed that this is definitely the case, reaffirming the importance of proper online security.

“Through a combination of password re-use across thousands of online services and targeted collection,” reads the study. “We estimated seven to 25 percent of stolen passwords in our dataset would enable an attacker to log in to a victim’s Google account and thus take over their online identity due to transitive trust.”

This is the danger of using the same password across multiple sites and services — if it’s exposed in one data breach, attackers might be able to combine it with known usernames or email accounts to access various different accounts.

We’ve seen plenty of breaches that left user passwords out in the open in recent years. In 2012, millions of encrypted LinkedIn passwords were leaked to the web, while we’re only just starting to understand the scope of an attack on Yahoo that took place in 2013 — in October, reports circulated that some 3 billion accounts were affected.

The researchers offer up a few different methods that people can use to protect their accounts from unauthorized access. For example, they might use a password manager that creates bespoke entry key for each individual site or service they visit, without them having to remember each one for themselves.

It’s also considered a best practice to employ two-factor authentication, especially for important accounts. This means that anyone gaining access from a new device also needs to provide a code that is typically sent to a smartphone, or an approved email account.

Of course, choosing a secure password is a good start. The top three passwords from plaintext leaks analyzed in this study were ‘123456,’ ‘password,’ and ‘123456789,’ none of which are particularly strong.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

With 20,000 sites swallowed up, a botnet is eating WordPress alive

A botnet of infected WordPress sites has been attacking other WordPress sites, generating up to five million malicious logins on certain WordPress backends within the last thirty days.
Computing

Quora hit by data breach affecting around 100 million users

Question-and-answer website Quora has revealed that hackers may have stolen data belonging to 100 million of its users. The recently discovered security breach is still being investigated, and Quora is contacting affected users.
Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?
Deals

These Raspberry Pi 3 bundles will cover everyone, from coders to gamers

The Raspberry Pi 3 is a low-budget computing platform capable of doing just about anything. We rounded up a handful of the best Raspberry Pi 3 bundles to get you started on a variety of DIY projects.
Computing

5 reasons your Macbook keeps restarting and how to fix the issue

It can be frustrating when your Apple MacBook keeps restarting, but this serious problem can be fixed! We'll go over the common causes for this issue, what you can do to fix them, and why it's okay to take your Mac to a pro!
Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Computing

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.