Last week it was revealed that an astonishing amount of passwords had been revealed in a massive data breach. A text file uploaded to the Internet contained 8.3 billion passwords in total, with experts warning that it could be one of the largest security breaches in modern history. The attack was spotted by the team at CyberNews, who say that due to the magnitude of the leak, this problem will almost certainly affect a very large number of people. The data dump was named “RockYou2021” by the hackers, referring to the infamous RockYou data breach in 2009 in which more than 32 million user passwords were leaked.
Regarding the latest threat, CyberNews said, “By combining 8.4 billion unique password variations with other breach collections that include usernames and email addresses, threat actors can use the RockYou2021 suite to find password dictionary and password information. Start spraying attacks against myriad online accounts. “
It is clearly serious and if you are concerned about this threat there are three things you must do today.
CHECK YOUR PASSWORDS
It’s a really good idea to see if your password was leaked in any of the recent attacks. CyberNews and other sites such as B. I’ve pwned provide an easy way to validate your data to see if it’s in the hands of hackers.
Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari can also help with both browsers showing up if you have weak passwords.
In Safari, go to Settings> Passwords. Here you will see a list of your accounts and passwords with a warning sign next to the ones used repeatedly.
If you’re using Chrome, go to Settings> Passwords and tap the Check Passwords button. You will then see all accounts with weak security.
USE A PASSWORD MANAGER AND TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Whenever possible, always use two-factor authentication to double the security of your account. Some applications offer this and software is available to ensure that all applications can use it.
Two-factor authentication basically means getting text with a code before you can log into accounts.
If you keep forgetting your codes, there are a number of software that can help you.
A number of popular password managers, including the award-winning 1Password, use Have I Been Pwned’s unmatched database to alert users when any of their passwords or credentials have been made available to hackers.
Ray Walsh, ProPrivacy’s digital privacy expert, said of the latest breach, “Hackers have compiled this huge cache of passwords from several previous forks of data, and its sheer size makes it extremely worrying.
“With so many passwords stored in the database in clear text, consumers need to act quickly to ensure their accounts are secure as this database holds the potential for a sudden wave of cyberattacks.
“Setting up new passwords for multiple accounts doesn’t have to be a headache when you have a reliable password manager that does the hard work for you.
“Anyone who is concerned that their password could be affected by this breach should ensure that they use 2FA whenever possible to ensure that a password alone is not enough to breach their account.
“As always, closely monitor your accounts and if you notice any unusual activity, act quickly to update your password and ensure that hackers are removed from these services.”