If you’ll believe it, some criminal may have leaked 5 million Gmail usernames and passwords so his mates will think he’s cool. At least that’s what Sophos’ Chester Wisniewski has implied with regards to the latest Gmail hack which has tongues wagging all over the Internet.
A list of usernames and passwords was found on a Russian Bitcoin forum this week, though Google is not playing along and insists on the absence of evidence about its systems having been compromised. Some people have been reporting that although their Gmail addresses are in the leak, the passwords are not correct or may have been used by them on other sites where they were required to provide an email ID.
Image: Mashable’s Evan Engel says his old password is part of the leaked database.
This might mean other online portals and not the Google mail service may have been hacked. Friendster, filedropper, freebiejeebies and xtube have been mentioned as some of the affected websites. In other cases, Gmail addresses that were never used or very old ones were found along with their passwords on the leaked list.
Even security experts supposedly agree that there’s no real need to panic since the concerned information on old accounts may have been acquired through phishing attacks, if not through sites other than Gmail. The hacker or hackers may have got less than 2% of the username and password combinations right, according to Google.
Google has gotten in touch with those owning the accounts which were compromised and asked them to reset their watchwords. If you didn’t hear from Google, your personal data is probably not in the list of 5 million leaked usernames and passwords. You could alternately check for the same through this link.