Tuesday 27 September 2016

Millions of email accounts compromised in massive data breach that includes Google and Yahoo

David Lawler

Published 05/05/2016 | 08:12

A woman at Google’s offices on Barrow Street in Dublin.
A woman at Google’s offices on Barrow Street in Dublin.

More than 270 million email accounts with major providers around the world have been compromised, a security expert has warned, with passwords being exchanged by criminals in Russia.

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Alex Holden, the expert, says most users of Mail.ru, Russia's most popular email service, have had their account details stolen.

Millions of users of the Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft email platforms have also had their data stored in one of the largest databases of stolen credentials ever discovered, Mr Holden told Reuters.

Hold Security, his firm, found the trove of stolen data after a teenage Russian hacker boasted in an online forum that he had access to millions of stolen credentials.

The news comes as a Russian opposition leader is seeking to launch a class action law suit against a mobile network provider accused of helping secret services hack the phones of activists.

Alexey Navalny, a prominent anti-corruption campaigner and critic of Vladimir Putin, said on Wednesday he wanted to sue the MTS mobile provider in New York over the apparent hacking of two associates’ messages.

Vladimir Putin has put his former chief bodyguard in charge of the new National Guard
Vladimir Putin has put his former chief bodyguard in charge of the new National Guard

MTS is one of three service providers that dominate the Russian mobile market and is majority owned by Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema. Mr Navalny hopes to use American courts because a proportion of its shares trade on the New York stock exchange.

MTS has denied deliberate tampering with the activists' accounts, suggesting external hackers may have been responsible.

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