Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo email users may be part of 272M breached data theft

A Russian hacker has stolen the usernames and passwords of more than 272 million email account users, including those who use Google, Yahoo and Microsoft email domains, reports Reuters.

Alex Holden, founder and CISO of information security and incident response company Hold Security, told Reuters its researchers discovered the cyberattack when a Russian hacker posted in an online forum that he had stolen the credentials.

The hacker reportedly stole 24 million Gmail credentials, 33 million Microsoft Hotmail credentials and 40 million Yahoo Mail credentials. The hacker also stole 57 million credentials of Mail.ru accounts, an email service in Russia, as well as hundreds of thousands of German and Chinese email accounts, according to Reuters.

The hacker posted online that he would give up the collection of data for the equivalent of less than $1, according to Reuters, and he ended up giving it to Hold Security researchers who agreed to post positive comments about the hacker in online forums. Hold Security said it will return any recovered data to affected organizations at little or no cost.

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