More than 272 million email credentials were for sale on the Russian black market, including email accounts stolen from Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo.
In news first reported by Reuters, hackers from Russia were able to obtain the private login information of millions of email accounts. Researchers from Hold Security uncovered the data breach after identifying a Russian hacker on an online forum who was boasting about his hacking success.
The database of stolen email information includes 57 million Mail.ru accounts, 24 million Gmail accounts, 33 million Microsoft accounts and 40 million Yahoo email accounts.
To put the scale of the cybercrime into perspective, Mail.ru only has 64 million monthly active users.
Hold Security asserts that thousands of the stolen emails belonged to employees from large American banks, manufacturing and retail companies.
Fortunately, Hold Security was able to recover the stolen information and has notified affected organizations, but it would still be advisable for email users to update their login information – and on a regularly basis.
In addition to the celebratory Cinco de Mayo, May 5 also marks the fourth annual World Password Day.
World Password Day was originally created by Intel Security as a reminder for Internet users to protect their identities online by keeping their passwords updated, secret and unique.