Google conducted a one-year study of black-market forums and identified 788,000 victims of keyloggers, 12.4 million potential victims of phishing kits, and 1.9 billion usernames and passwords exposed via data breaches.
These black-market forums allow users to buy and sell this information, usually through the exchange of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The study revealed that a massive 25 per cent of exposed passwords matched users’ account information and allowed any potential attacker to take over users’ identities. With 15 per cent of users having already reported experiencing an email or social network breach at some point, it’s more important now than ever before to use secure and unique passwords for different websites.
Google used the results of the study to ramp up security measures on 67 million of its accounts. The results also led Google to recommend every user implement two-factor authentication where available and carry out a regular password audit.
Are you worried about your data falling into the wrong hands? Have you already been the victim of a data breach?