A list of nearly five million Gmail usernames and passwords have reportedly been published on a Russian online forum, but many of those accounts on the list have already been suspended or have old passwords. Still, millions of account credentials are out there, potentially posing a significant security risk for many.
When contacted by Russian media sources, Google representatives said that this list was in fact comprised of accounts collected over the years via phishing and hacking methods. In addition to Russian Gmail users, the list also contains accounts used by English and Spanish speaking owners. Google said this list was not created by someone who had compromised the company's services. However, it's still a wise idea for any Gmail user to regularly change their password just to be on the safe side.
This leak only underscores further the need for all users to practice better digital security. There's the first and obvious point in this example, which is learning to recognize and avoid phishing attacks and using stronger passwords to thwart hacking attempts. Google, too, is working to make their systems stronger, but there's only so much they can do without the cooperation of users.
What do you think of this latest mass online account leak?