Hackers last year quietly stole a database containing the details of over 57 million people. The breach has only come to light this week, after the stolen data was put up for sale on the dark web.
The breach data contains data spanning three years between 2012 and 2015, including usernames, email addresses, and passwords that were hashed with the MD5 algorithm, which nowadays is easy to crack. Many cell phone numbers and Facebook usernames are also in the cache.
Many of the email addresses in the leaked database are associated with major companies, like Apple, Twitter, and Google, as well as Western government departments and agencies. It comes just a day after a similar, yet unrelated breach of user data.
A grey-hat hacker, who goes by the name Peace, obtained a copy of the stolen data from Russian hackers, and provided a number of files containing the breached data to ZDNet earlier this week. Security expert Troy Hunt, who runs breach notification site Have I Been Pwned, helped analyze and verify the data. Hunt found over 52.5 million unique emails in the cache, suggesting the vast majority of data has not been previously leaked.
But here’s the twist: nobody can say for sure where the data came from.
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