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Hacker sells over 42 million stolen emails and credentials for $0.75

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May 5, 2016

A very unsophisticated hacker has sold hundreds of millions of stolen email credentials, including 42.5 million never before disclosed for just seventy five cents to researchers at intelligence firm Hold Security.

The unexpected move has confounded the researchers and undoubtedly many cybercrime watchers, needless to say.

Accounts with various usernames for Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft, Mail.ru and other large email providers are included in the stolen batch of files.

It is unknown how many of the credentials are legitimate matches for the email account providers because it is possible the haul has been taken from third party services.

Those services could allow users to sign in with their email address but not necessarily the same password they use with gMail for instance.

Users could of course reuse their email passwords which research regularly shows they often do.

Holden's researchers found the hacker boasting about the haul on Russian cybercrime forums and were able to acquire the cache from the criminal for just 50 Rubles or about US $0.75. Incredible but true.

"For the reasons why the hacker virtually gave away the credentials - we do not know," Hold Security founder Alex Holden told us.

"He stated that he wanted to 'get rid' of them without ever stating the reason for it. I share your opinion that this data can be misused for many malicious purposes from simplest spam to serious disruptions," he added.

Hold added that the stolen credentials were unsorted and divided into foreign and Russian batches by the Russian-speaking hacker.

A separate security breach Holden later disclosed to us has seen some 34 million accounts for a popular instant messaging service sold on cybercrime forums.

That cache for major real-time unified communications platform QIP includes account nicknames and email addresses and passwords, and while it does not appear to be newly stolen, it is likely to have never been publicly offered on monitored crime forums, at least not until now.

"QIP is a major Russian language real-time unified communication platform," Hold says. "Using a single desktop or mobile app they connect message platforms like social media such as VK, and Facebook, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk, mail.ru chat, ectera."

On any given day, the legitimate service is a favourite of Russian hackers Holden says, with some having mobile phone numbers linked to their instant messaging platforms which (like ICQ) are largely anonymous and used a lot by Russian hackers at all levels.

Approximately 43.2 percent of the 34 million login credentials relate to users who signed on with the Mail.ru service in Russia.

Holden added that the hacker community "demonstrated specific interest in .ru domains" splitting their collections into foreign and Russian-centric services including mail.ru and yandex.ru.

"He also had very few items in his collection from domains like .cn, .jp, or .in while statistically they should exceed many others," he added.

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Read the latest IT news. Visit ItDirection.net. Updated several times daily.

If you need reliability when it comes to SMTP servers, get the best, get Port 587.

Get a powerful Linux Dual-Core dedicated server for less than $2.67 a day!

Share on Twitter.


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