Given the rising use of online platforms for all sorts of everyday transactions, and the value of social media within modern business process, the potential impacts of data leaks are more significant than ever. And this is a big one - if you haven't updated your passwords in a while, now may be the time.
Online security researcher Troy Hunt has reported that a collection of 773 million unique email IDs, and 21 million unique passwords, is now being shared on the dark web. The collection has been sourced from a range of providers, and while the comparative password listing correlates with only a fraction of the e-mails listed, 21 million is still a lot of passwords. Again, maybe it's time to review and update your details.
This also comes at the same time as reports that popular WordPress plugin 'Social Network Tabs' has also been compromised, leaving many Twitter accounts potentially exposed to hackers.
As explained by TechCrunch:
"The plugin was storing so-called account access tokens in the source code of the WordPress website. Anyone who viewed the source code could see the linked Twitter handle and the access tokens. These access tokens keep you logged in to the website on your phone and your computer without having to re-type your password every time or entering your two-factor authentication code."
The potential impact here is more limited, given that it requires a higher level of technical expertise to unlock the relevant data. But again, it may be a good time to review your details.
The site includes tools to search both the database of emails and passwords to see if your details are listed. Of course, it might feel a little unnerving to be entering those details anywhere related to a hack like this. If you are concerned, the alternative is to update your details on all the major sites, and maybe use a tool like 1Password or the like to up your security.
Such incidents are a headache of the connected age - regular password updates, and enabling two-factor authentication, are key considerations that everyone should keep in mind.