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A historic assemblage of online credentials, which include user name/password combinations and email addresses, have been stolen by a "_Russian crime ring_, "according to a recent article published on The New York Times website. According to security researchers ' findings, the report indicates that names and passwords for "_1.2 billion users_" and over "_500 million email addresses_" were stolen. In addition, according to the report, the discovered records also include "_confidential material gathered from 420,000 websites_ ".
Hold Security, an internet security firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "_has a history of uncovering significant hacks, including the theft last year of tens of millions of records from Adobe Systems, "according to the report. According to the article, the firm could not release the identities of any of the victims of this crime due to active "_nondisclosure agreements and a reluctance to name companies whose sites remained vulnerable\. "_
Alex Holden, Founder and Chief Information Security Officer of Hold Security, was quoted in the article to say, "Hackers did not just target U.S. companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to minimal websites. And most of these sites are still vulnerable._"
According to the article, Hold Security confirmed that Russian websites had also been hacked. It was noted in the article that Holden "saw no connection between the hackers and the Russian government_" and "_planned to alert law enforcement after making the research public." Unfortunately, as the report states, law enforcement officials within the Russian government have not "_historically pursued accused hackers._" The report clarified that the hacker group had "_not sold many of the records online_" but have been paid to use the stolen credentials "_to send spam on social networks_" including Twitter.
Written by Bryon Turcotte / August 6, 2014