Business Irish

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Revealed: Over 42,000 Irish e-mails accounts exposed in massive data breach

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File picture
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

At least 42,000 Irish e-mails with ".ie" domains are included in a massive data breach that has seen both logins and passwords traded amongst criminals in Russia.

The accounts are part of an enormous hack that includes the credentials of 272.3 million email accounts across the world.

The breach was uncovered by US information security firm Hold Security, which said it has returned the credentials to its rightful owners.

Hold Security chief information security officer Alex Holden said there may be more than just the 42,000 ".ie" e-mails from Ireland.

"There are over 42,000 credentials from the .ie domain in the recovered data. However, please keep in mind that some of the users of popular email services (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo) may not be easy to identify by country," Mr Holden told

The company said a large chunk of the accounts came from Russian e-mails but that there were also Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft accounts included.

When asked whether or not Irish accounts had been compromised Google said it is "still investigating" and had no further comment to add.

The credentials were recovered from what Holden said was a "kid from a small town in Russia".

Credentials are acquired by hackers and are then bought and sold. However it is understood that logins don't hold a lot of monetary value with many hackers preferring online kudos in its place.

The hacker asked Hold Security for just 50 roubles or the equivalent of a dollar for the entire set of data. However, the hacker released the information after the firm left positive feedback in hacker forums.

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