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Gmail Passwords Leaked but Google Not Hacked: Report

Image: Gmail Passwords Leaked but Google Not Hacked: Report
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By    |   Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 08:51 AM

Five million Gmail passwords were leaked to an online forum in Russia on Tuesday, however Google and other tech experts said it's not cause for alarm.

According to a Google blog post published Wednesday, the Gmail system itself was not hacked. Instead, the email addresses and passwords posted to the forum were likely gathered or hacked from another, far-less secure site where people used their Gmail addresses to register.

When using an email address to register for any number of online services, users are usually asked to create a password unique to that site's login. If registrants used the same password for both their Gmail login and another site's login, then they might be in danger.

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To see how many people did that, and how many of the passwords worked, Google ran tests on all 5 million of the dumped credentials. For 98 percent of those affected by the dump, there was no need to worry.

"We found that less than 2 percent of the username and password combinations might have worked, and our automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts. We’ve protected the affected accounts and have required those users to reset their passwords," the company wrote in its blog post.

"It’s important to note that in this case and in others, the leaked usernames and passwords were not the result of a breach of Google systems."

It remains unclear which website or websites the email addresses and passwords might have been stolen from, if that was in fact the method by which the credentials were obtained.

A number of major websites have been hacked in recent years, including Healthcare.gov, Home Depot, Ebay, eHarmony, P.F. Chang's, Target, and more.

As Google noted, it's important to use a unique password for your email login, one that is different from all the other passwords you use online, and to change that password periodically.

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Five million supposed Gmail passwords were leaked to an online forum in Russia on Tuesday, however Google and other tech experts said it's not cause for alarm.
gmail, passwords, leaked, google
342
2014-51-11
Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 08:51 AM
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