Nearly 5 million Gmail accounts have had their information leaked

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Multiple reports claim nearly 5 million Gmail usernames and passwords have been leaked. There’s pandemonium in the streets. Shut off your computer forever. Go off the grid. Luckily, there’s a pretty easy way to check if your account has been compromised. If yours hasn’t been hit, better to be safe than sorry by changing your password now—we don’t want any slip ups in the future. The list of names has apparently been scrubbed from the original source, and Gmail itself apparently wasn’t hacked; there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus of what is actually going on. Some reports claim a lot of what has been leaked are from other sites that were simply associated with a Gmail address.

Nearly 5 million usernames and passwords appear to have been published on a Russian Bitcoin forum. Much of the information is old and potentially out-of-date, Google representatives told Russian media, so the so-called “leak” may be more accurately described as a collection of phished and hacked credentials collected over years. In fact, many of the accounts have long been suspended or are matched with very old passwords. The database of usernames and passwords, which was first reported by CNews, was posted on Tuesday evening to btcsec.com, a Russian-language Bitcoin security forum. The publisher, named tvskit, posted the following screenshot of the database, claiming that over 60 percent of the passwords were valid and working: The file contains information on English-, Russian-, and Spanish-speaking users of Google services, such as Gmail and Google Plus. In addition to Google, the leak includes thousands of user credentials for Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia. Google and Yandex representatives told CNews that while the credentials were stolen through years of phishing and hacking against individuals, their own systems were never compromised. To protect yourself, change your password and enable two-factor authentication on Google and all your important Internet accounts.

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