Hundreds of millions of accounts and passwords from some of the most popular email services have been stolen and are circulating among Russian hackers.
The majority of the accounts are from Mail.ru, but many are also from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft Hotmail, according to Alex Holden, founder of Hold Security.
Holden has previously unveiled the cyberattacks on JP Morgan and Target.
This is one of the biggest cyberattacks in the past 2 years, Reuters reports.
Holden said a Russian hacker had dumped 1.17 billion records on an internet forum. After eliminating duplicates, Holden found that there was account information on 57 million of the 64 million Mail.ru accounts, and login information for tens of millions of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft Hotmail.
“This information is potent. It is floating around in the underground and this person has shown he’s willing to give the data away to people who are nice to him,” Holden said.
Such large-scale breaches can multiply in size as the hackers use the contact list of the victims to send more phishing attacks and gain access to more accounts.
The trove of accounts included 40 million from Yahoo, 24 million from Gmail, and 33 million from Microsoft.
Many of the accounts belonged to employees at some of the biggest banking, manufacturing, and retail companies in the United States, Holden said.