A cache of up to 2 million Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo passwords have been discovered by security experts. These experts from SpiderLabs based in Chicago, found the data during an investigation into a Netherlands based server.
Cyber based criminals had been using the server to assist them in hacking a huge network of computers. They named the conspiracy, ‘Pony botnet’. The victims of this conspiracy were from around the world, but mainly in the U.S, Singapore, Germany, and Thailand. Most surprisingly, of the two million, almost 16,000 of the accounts used the password ‘123456’.
The hackers are thought to have accessed more than 300,000 Facebook accounts, 22,000 Twitter accounts, 60,000 Google accounts, and 59,000 Yahoo accounts. The good news is that Facebook and Twitter have already reset the passwords of the users that were affected, although Google and Yahoo will no doubt quickly follow suit.
A spokesperson from Facebook has said: ‘Facebook takes people’s information security extremely seriously and we work hard to protect it…While details of this case are not yet clear, it appears that people’s computers may have been attacked by hackers using malware to scrape information directly from their Web browsers.’
Authorities in the Netherlands have been contacted by SpiderLabs, and have been asked to take action against the Pony botnet sever.
This incident shows the necessity of creating a secure password for all of your important online accounts, as this incident shows that your password may not be as secure as you might have thought.