A number of email services including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo have fallen victim to a big data breach, which has allegedly exposed the usernames and passwords of millions of users. Time to update your passwords.
According to reports from Reuters, more than 273.3 million accounts have been discovered by Alex Holden, the founder of Hold Security.
The biggest service that’s been affected is Russia’s Mail.ru. Latest figures suggest more than 57 million hacked accounts come from the email service, but 40 million have come from Yahoo, 33 million from Hotmail and 24 million from Gmail.
Holden claims he came across the data ten days ago directly from the hacker, who was allegedly trying to sell it for less than $1 online.
There have been no official details released from any of the big names involved. And no one is really certain whether it’s users from specific countries that are at risk or not. Add to that the fact that 24 million seems like a lot, but compared to the 1 billion people actually using Gmail it’s certainly not going to affect everyone using each of these services. But regardless, it’s a great excuse to change your password and turn on two-factor authentication if you don’t have it activated already.
Update: According to a number of reports, experts are now suggesting that many of the details are actually from previous data breaches and could have been cobbled together to form this new super list. What does this mean? Well, even less reason to be worried. But, still reason to change your password IMO.
This post originally appeared on Lifehacker UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.