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Has your email been stolen in massive data leak?

has your email been stolen in massive data leakDubbed a ‘mega-leak’, more than 2.2 billion stolen emails and passwords have surfaced online in a leak that is growing bigger by the day.

First reported on January 17, 2019 by researcher Troy Hunt, the leak included an astonishing number of email addresses and password combinations. However, upon further investigation the list of breached data was even bigger than first suspected, with 2.2 billion user’s worth of data included.

The data is apparently an amalgamation of leaked email addresses and passwords from other various leaks in recent years (Yahoo, LinkedIn, Dropbox, etc.) bundled together in an easily downloadable package for illicit purposes.

It has been reported by tech website Wired that the leak is being shared among hacker circles on forums and through torrents providing what is essentially a ‘phone book’ of email address credentials. This effectively allows any would-be hacker to attempt to gain access to websites using those credentials in the hopes that the password remains unchanged.

How to check if your email has been leaked

There are a couple of ways for you to check whether your password has been leaked. Have I been Pwned? And Identity Leak will both cross-reference your email against the data dump to see if your email turns up. If it does then you’ve been hacked, and you should change your password on all your frequently used websites. If it doesn’t then – well, it doesn’t hurt to change your passwords anyway.

Businesses, organisations and individuals can protect their data by using strong passwords, keeping their patches up-to-date, using endpoint security on their systems, preventing access to unknown hosts on their servers and implementing a regular routine of data backups to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

Here at ECL we have extensive experience in protecting businesses against the latest malware, computer hacks, viruses, spam, phishing scams and other threats and can advise you on the best methods of protecting your business. We can also help businesses to update their systems to run the latest and most secure version of Windows available. For more information please, please call us on 01268 575300 or email us on info@ecl.co.uk.

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