Information pertaining to millions of Yahoo, Microsoft and Google email accounts have appeared online where a Russian hacker was trying to sell them on an online forum, according to Reuters. Approximately 272.3 million accounts, most originating from Mail.ru (Russia’s largest email service), were uncovered by a security researcher.
The researcher, Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, said he and his team of researchers found a Russian hacker boasting on a forum that he was ready to offload a batch of stolen email credentials, consisting of 1.17 billion records.
Yahoo Mail credentials totaled 40 million, or 15 per cent of the haul, Hotmail accounted for 33 million, or 12 per cent, while 24 million, or nine per cent, belonged to Gmail account holders. 57 million hacked accounts belong to Mail.ru email service, according to the report.
It was not only email accounts that were targeted, according to the report, with Holden also discovering thousands of other stolen username and password combinations that appear to belong to employees of some of the largest US banking, manufacturing and retail companies.
“Microsoft has security measures in place to detect account compromise and requires additional information to verify the account owner and help them regain sole access,” said a Microsoft spokesman.