A Russian cyber gang that’s dubbed themselves “CyberVor” has reportedly stolen billions of internet username and password combinations from both small and large websites in the US and around the world. The term CyberVor comes from Vor which means theft in Russian.
The New York Times broke the story on Tuesday citing the discovery from a Milwaukee based security firm called Hold Security. This is the same cyber security company that discovered the theft of tens of millions of records from Adobe Systems last year.
So far reports indicate that the data stolen all centers around email addresses or usernames and password combinations. For many that may just mean a simple change of email and login credentials. However for many people who use the same password for everything, that could leave their bank accounts, credit card accounts, Paypal accounts and other serious information, vulnerable. The New York Times published this list of tips for consumers in regards to the data theft on Tuesday as well.
As many as 420,000 websites may have been affected resulting in the loss of billions of pieces of information. “As long as your data is somewhere on the World Wide Web, you may be affected by this breach,” Hold said in a statement on its website.
“Your data has not necessarily been stolen from you directly. It could have been stolen from the service or goods providers to whom you entrust your personal information, from your employers, even from your friends and family.”
The cybergang reportedly acquired databases of stolen credentials from fellow hackers on the black market. They then installed malware that allowed them to use those credentials to access other websites and social media accounts, Yahoo News reported.
“To the best of our knowledge, they mostly focused on stealing credentials, eventually ending up with the largest cache of stolen personal information, totaling over 1.2 billion unique sets of e-mails and passwords,” Hold Security added.
“The CyberVors did not differentiate between small or large sites. They didn’t just target large companies; instead, they targeted every site that their victims visited. With hundreds of thousands sites affected, the list includes many leaders in virtually all industries across the world, as well as a multitude of small or even personal websites.”
At the time of this writing there is still no master list of sites that were compromised. Hold Security has said they are creating an electronic data monitoring data tool.
“Hold Security is proud to announce that we will be providing full electronic identity monitoring service to all the individuals within the next 60 days. Even if you are currently using another Identity Protection Service, your electronic identity may still be vulnerable. While we getting our full service ready, we are inviting you to express your interest by pre-registering, free of charge and without any commitment. Once you register and complete a simple verification process, you will be able to check if your credentials have been found in CyberVor’s possession. We anticipate an overwhelming volume of requests, but please be patient and we will try to help you! We have developed a secure methodology for you to share with us a very strong (SHA512) cryptographic representation of your passwords for verification.”
Find out more here.
Hacker image: LazyTechGuys