GOOGLE HAS CAST DOUBT on the veracity of a recent password dump, explaining that it found that less than two percent of leaked passwords "might have worked".
Google talked about "credential dumps", which is described as the uploading of a lot of usernames and passwords on the web. It called them a recent phenomenon, adding that it regularly scans them for evidence of impact.
It said that a recent leak from earlier this week, which was thought to include data from around five million Google and other provider email accounts, had a failure rate of around 98 percent, meaning that fewer than two out of every hundred credentials could be used.
Low, but significant, maybe. Not so if you are the person writing the Google post though, as there we are given to understand that this is small cheese that was swiftly tackled.
"We're always monitoring for these dumps so we can respond quickly to protect our users. This week, we identified several lists claiming to contain Google and other internet providers' credentials," it said.
"We found that less than two percent 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."
The firm took the opportunity to remind people that they probably use the same login credentials on a range of websites and that this is like bathing in gasoline while smoking a pipe.
"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," it added.
"For instance, if you reuse the same username and password across websites, and one of those websites gets hacked, your credentials could be used to log into the others. Or attackers can use malware or phishing schemes to capture login credentials."
Google also recommended two factor authentication, which is something of a recurring theme in the internet industry. µ
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