“News broke late Tuesday [Aug 5, 2014] that Russian hackers have acquired over one billion username and password combinations, the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials,” writes Sam Frizell on the website of Time magazine.
He continues, “It’s a massive number, when you consider that there are 2.9 billion Internet users in the world, and it’s highly likely that many of us have at least one affected account.”
As for the question as to who did this, the story says, “The men who did the stealing are in their 20s, know each other personally (not just online) and there are fewer than a dozen of them.”
So what are the hackers doing with the stolen information? According to the article, “As of now, the criminals have not sold many of the records online, and instead are giving the information to third parties to send spam on social networks like Twitter. They’re then collecting fees for their work. So far, it doesn’t appear to be a complete disaster for Internet users, but it leaves a lot of people very vulnerable.”
Bottom line, the article says, now is probably a good time to change your password on various Internet sites. What has not yet been released are the sites that were hacked in the attacks.