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December 5, 2013

More than 2m online accounts hacked and passwords exposed

Trustwave found that online accounts for websites such as Facebook had been compromised.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

According to report by Trustwave, more than 2 million online accounts have been hacked from websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Google and Yahoo.

Hackers are expected to have stolen login details across these websites in the past month by using Pony malware.

However this is not as glitch with the websites themselves. According to Trustwave, the malware is installed on the laptops, desktops or other devices of the user, and passwords that are stored on the computers are then stolen when the user tries to log on to websites.

It was reported that 57% of the hacked accounts were from Facebook users, with Yahoo at 10%, 9% were Google accounts and 3% on Twitter.

Trustwave researchers were able to access and recover the exposed passwords, and have contacted the companies affected so that they can inform their users about compromised accounts. Facebook has initiated password resets for people who had their passwords exposed.

So how can we prevent our online accounts being compromised? Facebook found that many of those passwords were considered ‘weak’ and were often too short and predictable. The best way to avoid this happening is to have passwords that are longer than 8 characters and use uppercase, lowercase, letters and numbers. It is also advisable to change your password every few months and never use the same one for several accounts, in case hackers get access to it.

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