773 million email accounts exposed

Daniel Fowler
January 21, 2019

Just this week, a well-known security researcher that runs a useful site called "Have I Been Pwned" reported that another huge cache of email addresses and passwords had been posted to a hacking forum. The record-breaking breach is being referred to as "Collection #1". The app helps you securely store multiple passwords, in case you forget. This is unsafe to individuals who use the same email and password combination for multiple accounts. The system will trace the collection and find if the user's id or password has been compromised or not. This information, such as birthdays, can be used to authenticate an account.

Immediately change passwords that have been exposed and consider changing other passwords, too.

Hashing, a technique which protects stolen passwords, has also worryingly been broken.

How is this different from the information that Facebook and Google collect?

It remains unknown if all the information came from one or several sources. Now's the time to check if yours is among more than half a billion accounts impacted in the breach.

The bottom line: It's time for password changes across your online accounts.

'If you're one of those people who think it won't happen to you, and then it probably already has.

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Furthermore, it is strongly advised that you use a unique and strong password at every site you create an account.

They are often easily avoidable by installing a password manager.

Security researcher Troy Hunt has uncovered what is thought to be one of the biggest-ever troves of hacked email addresses and passwords.

So what does this mean for the average person?

'While using the same easy to remember password makes life easier for individuals managing an ever-growing number of online accounts, it makes it equally simple for hackers to strike. I checked, and yes, my personal email was part of the Collection #1 breach, along with multiple no-longer-in-use passwords.

Be cautious when storing passwords.

'Crucially they can be secured with your unique biometrics rather than a master password - meaning only you can access and use your passwords'.

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