26 billion personal records and passwords have been leaked online

I don't think I have enough free space to store 'em!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief
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We here at Desk Chair Analysts would like to insure that people are being safe online. This is why we have the Tech Talk Commandments, an unwritten set of rules we abide by. We encourage others to do the same. It was briefly spoken of when the SEC was found to not be using MFA when its Twitter account was hacked. Another rule shall be talked about today. This rule is to use a password manager at all times to secure your passwords.

The Motherlode of Passwords

Tuesday, news broke that a whopping 12 terabytes (TB) of data was found online. The data contains 26 billion records. These records were collected from leaks, breaches, and sales. There is a distinct possibility that your and my information maybe inside.

The discovery was made by Bob Dyachenko, a cybersecurity researcher at SecurityDiscovery.com along with the team at Cybernews.com. Cybernews has referred to this as the “mother of all breaches.”

Right now, researchers think that this isn’t just from one source, but an amalgamation of different leaks and breaches. There is a possibility that there may actually be duplicate information in this set. However, they have not ruled out the chance that new information could be mixed in.

Now that the data set has been unearthed, it’s suspected that credential stuffing attacks will be happening very soon. For those who don’t know, credential stuffing is when malicious actors take a user’s credentials from one site and try them on others. These attacks are mostly successful with people who use the same password for multiple sites.

How to protect yourself

One thing that you can do right now is to check and see if you have been a part of any leak, not just this one. You can do that by going to Have I Been Pwned or Cybernews’ lookup tool.

The best thing you can do if you’ve been compromised or not is to follow these rules from the Tech Talk Commandments:

  • Use strong passwords. I wouldn’t say do something needlessly complicated. The more characters (Uppercase, lowercase, numbers, special characters (if accepted)), the better.
  • Use a password manager. These will store your passwords securely. Some will sync between devices. Most, if not all, will actually help you generate strong passwords. I recommend using Bitwarden (not sponsored, but please).
  • Use multi-factor authentication. Having another hurdle to log into an account can be annoying, but it makes a difference. Having a second authentication method that you carry on you will make sure attackers don’t have everything needed to gain access.

One day, we’ll make an actual Tech Talk Commandments page. It seems it is sorely needed.

Source: PC World (page has tracked links)

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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