Report by Reuters says some 273.3 million emails accounts are being traded online by hackers for as little as $1. The list of hacked accounts comes complete with email addresses with their corresponding login passwords. The emails include accounts from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail.
This hacked information was first reported by Alex Holden, a security expert at Hold Security. Further analysis reveals that the list of emails contained about 24 million accounts from Gmail, 33 million from Hotmail, 40 million from Yahoo Mail and 57 million from Russian email service provider Mail.ru.
The list contains hundreds of thousands of email addresses used by employees at various U.S. banking, manufacturing, and retail companies.
The security company says it stumble upon this list of hacked email at an online platform, where they were in direct contact with the hacker. The hacker was selling the information at a ridiculously low price of less than $1.
Holden Security did not pay hacker money, offering instead to make a good review about the hacker in a number of hackers’ forums. The hacker was pleased by the prospects of being given ‘favorable comments’ that he gave away the list of hacked emails to the security company in exchange for the good review.
The security firm began reaching out to affected companies from the list of hacked email accounts. Holden Security has a policy of returning stolen data to their original owners.
While the list of hacked email accounts had tens of millions of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail accounts, it is still a relatively small percentage compared to the total email accounts in total. Take, for instance; Google recently revealed it has over one billion people using its Gmail service; the number of breached Gmail accounts in this list is comparatively small.
However, considering that some people use the same password on multiple sites, the consequences of the hacked emails could be far reaching. With that said, you have no better excuse for changing your email password today than this news of hacked email accounts being traded online.
Check out on our other article on spring cleaning tips for your cyber hygiene coming out at 13:00 Hrs today, for tips on how to prevent getting hacked.