Warning! Your Social Network Passwords May Have Been Stolen
If you were concerned about your online privacy, then you are right to be. Because you might find your social network passwords have been stolen, and to make matters worse they have been dumped online. This really highlights the difficulty in keeping your data private, and why it has been suggested that passwords should be routinely changed.
In excess of two million passwords were stolen from Facebook, Yahoo and Google. Other passwords from other sites were also stolen and posted on the internet website. Which has created a huge security and privacy hole. That those who know how to, can exploit.
Security experts have said the details have in the most likely circumstance been uploaded by a single solitary criminal gang. These gangs work by using very clever strategies, and it involves data being taken from computers that have been infected with malicious software. And it is this software that logs the key presses of the user, which is how these social network passwords have been uncovered.
Botnets used to steal data
Whether or not the details are old or new, the fact is that people tend to use similar passwords for many websites. Which is the reason why this information could still potentially pose a risk. Again, it is usually suggested that log-in details are changed frequently, and that they are different for each site.
Trustware, a security firm, stated that they believed the details had been harvested by a large botnet. Which is a network of machines under the control of criminals. Who are using malicious software to gain data without the owner of the machine knowing, and without their consent. The botnet has said to have stolen information from thousands of computers. And criminal gangs will use botnets in order to get their hands on a huge amounts of data, which they will then sell on. Or they will hold on to it, in order to gain money from those they have taken it from illegally. Holding those individuals to ransom.
The site that contained this information also revealed the number of new details they were retrieving each day. And since people generally check their social networks multiple times in a 24 hour period, it was these social network passwords and usernames that made up the biggest percentage of data taken. Almost 320,000 usernames and password combinations were collected. For Google, Twitter and LinkedIn. These are major sites and if you use them, and you probably do, it might be time to give your passwords an update.