According to Hold Security, a cybersecurity firm, 272.3 million Google, Yahoo, Mail.ru and Microsoft email account credentials are being sold on a dark web hacking forum by a Russian hacker. This number seems to be huge, however, there is an even larger cache of account details only a few know about, which number goes beyond 1.17 billion records.
Hold Security has already uncovered several breaches at companies, such as Adobe Systems, Target, JPMorgan. After speaking with the unknown Russian hacker on a social media platform, the firm found out that he is sitting on 1.17 billion records. He has so many email accounts that he is selling each for 50 Rubles (worth around $0.76). The researchers made this statement in their blog post:
“50 Rubles is what the hacker wants for this incredibly large set of data. He can’t be serious; based on today’s exchange rate it is less than one US dollar. This greatly impacts the data’s credibility and value, similar to an expensive sports car being sold for pennies at auction. ‘I am just getting rid of it but I won’t do it for free,’ he replies. In all reality, 50 rubles is next to nothing, but we refuse to contribute even insignificant amounts to his cause. It is rather funny to negotiate over this, but finally, the hacker just asks us to add likes/votes to his social media page (so much for anonymity)…and once he is satisfied with the results we get a link to an incredible 10 gigabytes in a compressed database, which takes us more than hour to download.”
Hold Security discovered that among the 1.17 billion records, only 272.3 million of the email accounts is unique and they largely come from a major Eastern European communication firm, some medium-size online service providers and other unattributed data often traded by hackers for easy cash. However, only 0.45 percent of the content is new, meaning most of the stolen data has already been identified.
From 273.3 million unique credentials, 21% (57 million) are Mail.ru (a popular Russian email provider), 15% (40 million) Yahoo Mail, 12% (33 million) Hotmail – Microsoft Live emails, 9% (about 24 million) are Gmail accounts, according to Hold Security’s research details.