Collection #1: Are you One of Over Two Billion?
Malicious actors wasted no time making the news in 2019. Collection #1 was the largest collection of stolen data in history. The breach revealed two billion logins. Many of these emails, passwords, and logins have been previously reported in other breaches. However, this may be the eye popping numbers that finally gets people to take their cybersecurity seriously.
The discovery of an 87GB data dump was made by Troy Hunt. Mr. Hunt retrieved the data that was posted on a popular hacker forum in mid-December. He states in his article that, “Collection #1 is a set of email addresses and passwords totaling 2,692,818,238 rows.” There are many more statistics given in the article. However, the important takeaways are the numbers and what we can do now.
What Aren’t You hiding?
Information is being sold on the dark web at an alarming rate. Is there any data in your inbox that you would not want shared in the public domain? Many people use their online accounts for banking and reuse their passwords on numerous accounts. Unfortunately, this is one of the most dangerous practices in the cyber world.
Did You Make The List?
In the midst of a new year, the problems we face are not new. In contrast, this breach is in line with the bombshell of breaches that pervaded 2018. However, the numbers keep increasing. Many have had their data stolen and have not taken the steps to protect themselves. This is because most people have no idea a breach has even occurred. In fact, if cybersecurity is not something you think will happen to you, it most likely already has. Thankfully, Troy Hunt runs a free service online to research if your information has been breached or not. Collection #1 retrieved a lot of data that was previously stolen. However, it is still relevant.
How to See?
To reiterate, the problem has not changed. The problem is that society as a whole has not taken the steps needed to protect ourselves from malicious actors. Specifically, everyone should check their email on haveibeenpwned.com. Troy Hunt has created this website for people to check if their email accounts or passwords have been sold on the dark web. All of the data from Collection #1 is on the data base for you to search.
What can you do?
If you are a target, arm yourself. Use multi factor authentication to protect yourself from future breaches. Everyone is at risk. For example, you do not have to be a millionaire to be a target. Malicious actors sell data by quality and quantity. Use password services such as 1password to safeguard your passwords. Keeping track of numerous passwords is a hassle. However, we strongly urge you to not reuse passwords. Additionally, we urge you to make them as complex as possible. Do your due diligence. Collection #1 has thrown very startling numbers into the news.
Spread the Cybersecurity Bug
In conclusion, talk to your friends and family. Malicious actors have plagued the cyber world for years and will continue to do so. This has been just an eye opener. Take precautionary measures to protect yourself. Do not wait until it’s too late. After all, Collection #1 is just the largest of a continuing trend. We will see what 2019 has in store for us.