Reuters learned of the theft of passwords of tens of millions of Runet users


On the existing base of hundreds of millions of stolen usernames and passwords from mailboxes of several popular email services, including Mail.ru and Gmail.com, Reuters was told by an expert on cyber security, founder of Hold Security Alex Holden.

According to him, the base has a 272,3 million stolen usernames and passwords, most of which belong to users Mail.ru and to a lesser extent the users of Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft. According to him, this is one of the largest database of stolen data since the cyber attacks on major banks and retail stores the United States occurred two years ago.

As told Holden to detect this database is failed after the employees of his company went to one of the Russian hackers, who on one of the online forums boasted that gathered and ready to give 1.17 billion stolen credentials. In this case the transfer database hacker asked for only 50 rubles., told Reuters.

After checking the database and removing duplicates, employees Hold Security counted 57 million user credentials Mail.ru. For comparison: at the end of last year, monthly active audience of email users Mail.ru amounted to 64 million people. Also, the database was tens of millions of user credentials of the three world’s largest email services — Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo, plus hundreds of thousands of data with the postal services of Germany and China.

This database of 40 million (or 15% of the total volume of data) logins and passwords of users of Yahoo! , 33 million (or 12%) — users of Microsoft Hotmail, 24 million (or 9%) — Gmail users, said Holden.

In Mail.ru already commented on the statements of Holden. The company said that contacted him and got his data for analysis. “The first study of a random sample showed that it does not contain any passwords that are relevant to active live accounts. In addition, noteworthy is the fact that the database contains a large number of the same usernames with different passwords, which suggests that it was compiled from fragments of different databases, where users used to login your email,” — said in comments. “We continue to review the database and, as soon as we have more information, we will notify users who have been affected,” added the company.

Yahoo and Google has not responded to Reuters requests for comment.

A Microsoft representative told Reuters that the theft of usernames and passwords is an unfortunate reality. “Microsoft has security measures in place to determine possible compromise of credentials and request additional information to verify the account owner, to secure its exclusive access”, — quotes Agency review company.

Probably the database was collected as a result of several phishing attacks, said the head of the Russian research center “Kaspersky Lab’s Yury Namestnikov. He believes that the base is of rather low quality: it contains a small number of active accounts. This, in particular, specifies, and low price — only 50 rubles., for which it tried to sell, he said. The task of the services whose clients could become victims of cybercriminals is to check compromised accounts, and if among them there are “live”, reset passwords, criminals could not take advantage of them, said Deputies.