Two days ago, Hold Security revealed that Russian hackers have amassed over 1.2 billion usernames and passwords from various websites. The Milwaukee based firm would not elaborate on which websites were targeted, or how users could know if their credentials had been compromised.  Experts from within the firm, who played a role in identifying the previous security breaches with Adobe Systems and Target, say the latest Russian hacking scheme could be “the largest data breach known to date.”

Since the announcement, the scope and urgency of Hold Security’s claim has been questioned, with some arguing that the 1.2 billion usernames were amassed over multiple years via several hacking events: Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and former general counsel of the National Security Agency, said, “1.2 billion is a very big number. If they got there by assembling two years’ worth of hacks, it is less impressive.”

Nevertheless, Tier1Net wants our clients to be aware that none of their Tier1Net hosted websites were affected by this alleged breach.

Meanwhile, we encourage all web users to review the Best Practices for Safe Web Use.

Please review Tier1Net’s Best Practices for Safe Web Use below.

1. Regularly change your passwords for any sites that contain sensitive information, such as anything related to your finances, healthcare, credit cards, and banking information.

2. Do not use the same password across multiple sites.

3. Do not store your online logins/passwords in a file on your computer.

4. Regularly review your bank, credit card, financial, and healthcare statements for accuracy. Report unknown or suspicious activity immediately to the account provider.

5. When offered by an online provider, always opt for two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication relies on a second set of credentials for access (beyond your password.)

6. Proceed with caution.   When large scale malicious activity is reported, always assume that your accounts may have been targeted, and take the appropriate actions – such as changing your passwords – to safeguard against information breaches.

If you have questions about this latest security breach, or how to keep your web activity secure, please contact us.