When was the last time your changed your digital passwords? If you use a computer, your data likely got leaked in what researchers have called the mother of all data breaches.
Twenty brands have had over 100 billion leaked records, with the largest being Tencent's 1.5 billion. Brands more familiar to Western consumers such as LinkedIn, X, Venmo, Canva, Apollo and Adobe have also been hit. Cybernews Head of Security Research Mantas Sasnauskas summed up the scale of the shocking breach, saying "Probably the majority of the population have been affected."
With the staggering amount of data being breached, experts are on high alert for increased, targeted cybercrime.
According to the cybersecurity experts who have given it visibility, this leak brings together a lot of data that was breached in previous leaks, as well as information that has presumably been leaked for the first time.
Cybernews researchers assure that "this data set is extremely dangerous because those responsible for the leak have the ability to use the aggregated data to deploy a very wide range of attacks, such as phishing or advanced phishing"
If a hacker knows an email and password combination on Netflix, for example, they might logically start with that combination in an attempt to gain access to more sensitive data, such as getting access to e-mail and banking accounts.
This particularly dangerous attack is called credential stuffing, where a hacked individual can have their accounts compromised across multiple services in just a few moments, leaving behind a much more devastating trail of destruction
While there's no way to fully prevent data breaches in today's digital age, there are some common tips that are easy to implement.
Remember to use strong and unique passwords, multi factor authentication, up-to-date software, only visit secure URLs and continuously monitor bank and credit card statements for unusual activity. These tips are just a start but can go a long way to keeping your threat level lower.
If there were ever a time to change your passwords, it's now.