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Hackers Behind Biggest-Ever Password Theft Begin Attacks 107

An anonymous reader writes Back in August, groups of Russian hackers assembled the biggest list of compromised login credentials ever seen: 1.2 billion accounts. Now, domain registrar Namecheap reports the hackers have begun using the list to try and access accounts. "Overnight, our intrusion detection systems alerted us to a much higher than normal load against our login systems. ... The group behind this is using the stored usernames and passwords to simulate a web browser login through fake browser software. This software simulates the actual login process a user would use if they are using Firefox/Safari/Chrome to access their Namecheap account. The hackers are going through their username/password list and trying each and every one to try and get into Namecheap user accounts." They report that most login attempts are failing, but some are succeeding. Now is a good time to check that none of your important accounts share passwords.
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Hackers Behind Biggest-Ever Password Theft Begin Attacks

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  • by Enry ( 630 ) <> on Monday September 01, 2014 @08:35PM (#47803489) Journal

    From the namecheap link:

    I must reiterate this is not a security breach at Namecheap, nor a hack against us. The hackers are using usernames and passwords being used have been obtained from other sources. These have not been obtained from Namecheap. But these usernames and passwords that the hackers now have are being used to try and login to Namecheap accounts.

  • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:04PM (#47803621)

    If you have a Gmail account, look for the Last Account Activity at the bottom right. Use the Details link to see your recent history. Set your preferences to alert you to unusual account activity. More accounts should notify you of unusual logins and login attempts.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday September 01, 2014 @09:43PM (#47803761)

    My suggestion to Namecheap (and other domain registrars or hosting companies) would be to lock them all down if possible, force all users to change the passwords from e-mail or other contact method before they can login again. We don't know what they have and we don't know what their plans are. This is a gaping security hole in the internet.

    Unless the users had the same password for their email account which is likely. This is the problem with the username/password system, people want single signon, but companies don't want to cooperate unless it involves giving up any shred of anonymity i.e. Facebook/Google longon.

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday September 01, 2014 @10:26PM (#47803903)

    The first report was bullshit by some nobody to make money, nothing more and nothing less. This is more of the same bullshit to make bogeymen, and Russia has been a good target lately. I have worked in IT security for nearly 3 decades, so yes I do have some knowledge.

    The 1.2 billion "credentials" was nothing to worry about (see disclaimer below), and still isn't. Hackers move massive lists of email addresses all the time, and try to run brute force attacks all the time. We block hundreds of thousands of these attacks every day. The majority are [email_addr@domain] with a password of 'password1'. Most of the time these are easy to see, as neither the user or domain exist on the targeted servers. Even the legit addresses are easy to detect, because hackers will use the top 25 worst passwords (just like you can find in articles every year, no I'm not kidding). Rarely do I ever see anything complex, like .00001% of the time rare, where there is actually a worm running on the back end (think John the Ripper).

    If I was a conman and wanted to make fast cash, I could start dumping all of these email addresses to a DB, and say "Oh Noez! This email account is haxxored! When in reality, there is no such compromise. To fluff numbers, I hash 'password1' in SHA, MD5, CRYPT, and maybe even use plain text. 300 million accounts has now given me a claim of 1.2 billion 'credentials', and you can hopefully see that the claim is complete shit! I can gather that 300 million addresses in a week without breaking a sweat.

    Disclaimer. You should be changing passwords for anything you care about frequently. 8 character passwords every 90 days, 14-16 character every 6 months. If you are using a strong password and are up for a change, go do so, no big deal. Since I write this shit for policies regularly, a "strong" password consists of the following.
    1. No dictionary words, proper names or common acronyms in forward or reverse.
    2. No QWERTY keys, including qazwsx, 54321, etc...
    3. Contains at least 1 special character, 1 number, 1 upper and 1 lower case character.
    4. Is not 'p@SSw0rd' or some other l337 speak that would be in a cracklib dictionary, and there is plenty there.

    There are obviously restrictions in some places, so if you can't use certain characters make a longer password. If you can't make a longer password change the password more frequently. The majority of 'hackers' are script kiddies, not hackers. If you make things hard, they find a different target. There are numerous people out there that use 'password1' for their password, don't be one of them.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama