Over 2 million stolen login credentials for email and social media sites have been found on a server according to researchers at technology security firm, Trustwave. The twist is that these hacked passwords weren’t taken from compromised websites, but were gathered from various computers by key logging malware.
The snatched details include login details for popular sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo, which make up more than 1.5 million of the total passwords. The hacked cache also contained data for e-mail addresses, secure shells and remote desktops, all of which had been compromised by the same malware installed on computers in different countries.
Luckily for US residents, only 1,943 login credentials on the server were American in origin, making up a relatively low 0.1% of all compromised accounts. The huge majority of hacked accounts- 97% to be precise- came from computers in the Netherlands, followed by Germany, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. The fact that such a huge chunk of the stolen data originated in the Netherlands prompted researchers at Spider Labs to speculate that the hack may have been targeted. In total, up to 102 countries may have been affected by this attack.
Aside from security problems, the discovery of this server reveals that many people still do not use effective passwords when browsing the internet. Incredibly weak passwords were everywhere on the compromised accounts list, including many instances of gems like “123456” or “password”. In total, only 5% of the hacked passwords were deemed to be “excellent” by security researchers.