Hackers have apparently been very busy this month. Shortly after the horrifying iCloud hack that resulted in nude pictures of many celebrities being leaked online it looks like as many as five million Gmail users have been badly hit. Earlier today unknown hackers reportedly leaked five million Gmail usernames and passwords in a Russian Bitcoin forum. It has not been ascertained as yet where these Gmail addresses were leaked from.
At least one thing seems to be clear. The leak hasn’t happened due to a security breach in Google’s systems. It looks like these addresses may have been leaked from a third party website or a collection of such websites were people signed up using their Google Mail credentials. There speculation that phishing attacks and weak passwords are to be blamed for this leak as well.
Unfortunately many people have the habit of using one password across all online services. A breach from one site can result in their entire online presence being compromised which is why it is essential to use different passwords particularly for the primary email address, and for various websites or online services.
Once the news about this leak spread many websites have appeared online which urge people to enter their Gmail username and password to find out if they have been compromised by the leak. This is perhaps the oldest scam in the book, never enter the credentials on any such site, you will only be opening yourself up to more risk.
Those who would like to be extra cautious should change their Gmail passwords and it is recommended that you turn on two-factor authentication, it won’t take long and will certainly go a long way in protecting your Google account.