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Blogs and websites were in an uproar yesterday when news broke that over 10,00o Microsoft Hotmail account usernames and passwords had been leaked onto the internet.
Today, more information has surfaced suggesting it’s much, much worse. The BBC has reported that the login data of over 30,000 Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Comcast, and Earthlink accounts was collected, then posted online for anyone to find.
And the worst part is, it wasn’t the fault of any of the email companies. Every single set of login credentials was collected through phishing scams. That’s where the bad guys trick you into giving them your password through fake login sites, or fake official emails. This wasn’t an elaborate computer hacking job. It was the fault of regular people that were too trusting on the internet.
So far Google has taken action. It has a copy of the list (that has been taken off the internet) and is forcing every GMail user on it to reset their password immediately. Other companies likely will as well.
This is just another example of how you should always be careful with who you give your information to online.