Russian gang hacks 1.2bn usernames and passwords
The group is alleged to have stolen credentials from hundreds of thousands of websites globally
A Russian group has hacked 1.2bn usernames and passwords belonging to more than 500 million email addresses, say a US cybersecurity firm, online media has reported.
Hold Security, which specialises in discovering breaches, claimed the stolen information came from more than 420,000 websites.
"They didn't just target large companies; instead, they targeted every site that their victims visited," Hold Security said in its report.
"With hundreds of thousands of sites affected, the list includes many leaders in virtually all industries across the world, as well as a multitude of small or even personal websites."
According to Reuters, Hold Security declined to identify the sites that were breached, citing nondisclosure agreements and concerns that they remained vulnerable to attack.
"Hackers did not just target U.S. companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites. And most of these sites are still vulnerable," the New York Times quoted Alex Holden, the founder of Hold Security, as saying.
Hold Security, which has previously reported about hacks on Adobe and Target, said it took more than seven months of research to discover the extent of the latest hack.