2 Million Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, and Twitter Accounts Stolen

If you depend on any of the services we just named in the above headline, change your passwords immediately. Against better judgement, I’d even suggest that you pause reading the rest of this article until every account is securely locked down and configured with the maximum amount of privacy settings possible.

This breach of our personal accounts, one of the largest and potentially most valuable in history, was acquired through years of careful keylogging and archiving of millions of passwords over the past several years. Discovered by cyber security research firm Trustwave, the treasure trove of user data goes on for miles, encompassing some of the biggest names in technology and the most widely used social media websites and email services currently in operation on the net. LinkedIn was another company hit hard by the breach, vowing their servers were currently undergoing a full security overhaul in the wake of similar news regarding themselves and the GCHQ which surfaced just last week.

  • 318,000 Facebook accounts
  • 70,000 Gmail, Google+ and YouTube accounts
  • 60,000 Yahoo accounts
  • 22,000 Twitter accounts
  • 8,000 LinkedIn accounts

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have already notified affected users in their networks, changing their password automatically and giving them the option to access it after clicking a link in their email. Among the wreckage are 41,000 credentials designed to connect to File Transfer Protocols (FTP), and 6,000 remote log-ins.

The hacking campaign started secretly collecting passwords on Oct. 21, and could still be out there gathering more — although Trustwave discovered the Netherlands proxy server, Miller said there are several other similar servers they haven’t yet tracked down.

Out of everything that took a hit in this attack, John Miller of Trustwave says the ADP results concern him most. ADP makes software companies use to manage payrolls and worker benefits. With access to that information, hackers can easily mimic the identity of anyone they want online, running up credit cards and committing high-level fraud while getting off scott free.

To prevent this from happening to you, you should always use a VPN whenever connecting to these popular sites. The size of those networks make them especially attractive to hackers, so whenever you send out that next tweet or post another photo album, be sure you’re doing it from behind the brick wall of VyprVPN.