According to a report published yesterday by Hold Security, a Milwaukee firm dedicated to uncovering online security breaches, Russian criminals have stolen 1.2 billion internet usernames and passwords along with 500 million email addresses. The security firm noted that this breach could have resulted in the largest collection of stolen digital credentials to date, affecting over 420,000 websites –both big and small. Due to a nondisclosure agreement, the identities of the targeted websites have not been revealed. However, Alex Holden, the founder of Hold Security, told CNNMoney that the thieves did not breach any major email providers.
Holden said the Russian hackers began collecting data a few years ago and have been using the stolen information to make money by sending out spam for bogus products. He cautioned that their success at amassing such a large number of digital credentials should serve as a warning about the weak security procedures in place on websites of all sizes. Cybersecurity experts urge individuals to better manage their online credentials by using different passwords for each of their various banking, email and social media accounts. Another safeguard to deter cyber theft is to use two-factor authentication whenever possible. This method of authentication requires you to enter a second password, often sent directly to your smartphone, when signing into your online account.
In a time when hacking, phishing and digital compromises are prevalent, UHCU is proud to be on the forefront of Online Banking security. The Online Banking system we implemented last September uses a much more secure form of two-factor authentication as well as customizable alerts and notifications, measures which drastically reduce the possibility of unauthorized access from an outside party. It’s important to change your passwords regularly and pay attention to any alerts you receive from secure websites, including UHCU Online Banking, that notify you of changed passwords or failed login attempts that do not result from your actions. We also recommend ensuring the virus and malware protection on your computer is up-to-date. There are many free online services available that offer security checks and can inform you if your computer is vulnerable. For tips and resources on how to best protect yourself and your devices, visit staysafeonline.org
If you have additional questions about our Online Banking system or the measures we put in place to keep your personal information secure, please let us know. Your security is our priority!
Russian criminals steal 1.2 billion passwords CNN Money