Gmail Password Hack Reported, But Google Says There Is No Reason To Worry

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Sep 11, 2014 01:30 PM EDT
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Russian hackers have gotten their hands on as many as 5 million Gmail passwords, but you likely don't have too much reason to worry: the leaked information for Google's email service appears to be outdated, and Google claims the service was not compromised to any serious degree.

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The hackers posted the data online after uncovering it, likely through phishing attacks, reports FreedomHacker. A text file containing the list of addresses was posted on BitCoin Security's Russian forums, where the leak containing passwords also seems to have originated from.

Peter Kruse, a member of Danish security firm CSIS, tweeted that the leak is legitimate, but the passwords are mostly more than three years old. It certainly wouldn't hurt to change your passwords regardless, but Google released a statement claiming that no users have reason to be worried.

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"We found that less than 2% of the username and password combinations might have worked, and our automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts. We've protected the affected accounts and have required those users to reset their passwords.

"It's important to note that in this case and in others, the leaked usernames and passwords were not the result of a breach of Google systems. Often, these credentials are obtained through a combination of other sources."

The company recommends stronger passwords and two-step verification to protect your account going forward, but nobody should have anything to worry about in this case. Internet security is of course a hot topic following the iCloud celebrity picture leak, and a little extra caution can go a long way.

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