On January 17, 2019, a record-breaking data breach came to light unleashing 773 million unique e-mail addresses, and a grand total of 1.16 billion unique combinations of email address and passwords. This gigantic data breach was uploaded to MEGA, a popular cloud service and then shared amongst a popular hacking forum. This is when Troy Hunt, a major blogger and security researcher was given a tip and investigated the data breach. Hunt found a massive collection of files totaling 87GB of raw data. After filing through the data, he found a root folder titled “Collection #1” hence the name given to the data breach. The information in this record-breaking data breach was a combination of 2,000 different databases and these databases contain “dehashed” passwords meaning that they have been decrypted from their original encrypted format and published in plain text.
How Does This Data Breach Effect You?
This data breach was done using a practice called credential stuffing. Credential stuffing is when compromised username and password combinations are used to hack accounts. This is also an automated process and targets those who use the same password across the whole wide internet. You can even check to see if your data has been breached by checking it on this website: https://www.troyhunt.com/the-773-million-record-collection-1-data-reach/.
This data breach was not the first of 2019 and it holds its place amongst some of the biggest data breaches such as the massive Yahoo account in 2013. It was only last month when Marriott announced a massive data breach affecting 500 million people and now “Collection #1” is affecting 773 million people. Cybersecurity is more important than ever before and will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.
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