Hackers steal 1.2 billion passwords — four steps to take now

By Aravind Swaminathan and Tara McGraw Swaminatha

The New York Times recently reported that an organised Russian criminal group stole approximately 1.2 billion username and password credentials associated with more than 500 million email addresses from hundreds of thousands of websites around the world.

The article notes that the hackers used a large botnet (a group of computers that a hacker has taken control of for his or her own use) to probe websites methodically for vulnerabilities that would give the hacker access to the websites’ databases containing sensitive information such as email addresses, user IDs and passwords.

Although the victims have not been identified, there are certain steps you should consider taking, all in close consultation with your experienced IT staff…

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