GENERALLY, SEQUELS ARE a massive letdown for fans of the original. Nobody could argue that's the case with the follow up to the massive Collection #1 password dump, which is bigger, badder and more of a headache than ever.
Let's deal with numbers. Collection #1 was 87GB and contained 772 million email addresses, which is a big breach by anybody's definition. "Hold my drink," says Collection #2-5 as it shows the world what a real data dump looks like: 845GB of data, containing 2.2 billion accounts. Yikes.
To be clear, 2.2 billion is a staggeringly high number. To put that in context, there are only 7 billion people on Earth. That's not the same as saying nearly a third of the world's population have had their details published, of course - many people have likely been hit multiple times. But at the same time, it's not going to be one person with 2.2 billion separate accounts either. Or if it is, they're going to be busy with password changing admin all the way through the spring.
The data has been crunched by the Hasso Plattner Institute and cybersecurity firm Phosphorus.io. According to Wired, 130 jerks are making the data dumps available to download and 1,000 other jerks have done just that already.
You probably want to know if your credentials were in the mix, and helpfully Hasso Plattner has a tool to find out. Just enter your email address into the Info Leak Checker, and your answer will be emailed to you (SPOILER: the odds aren't in your favour, here.)
When you find that your details have been leaked - the tool won't tell you which, just that you're there in the mix - you'll probably want to start fixing your passwords. If you haven't already, then for goodness' sake get a password manager. The likes of LastPass and Dashlane are free, and though they'll take you a little while to set up, the number of headaches they'll spare you in the long run really do make it time well spent. µ
The week in Google
The scandal that just keeps giving
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