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    Wednesday, July 10, 2024

    Ten Billion Passwords Compromised: Strategies for Risk Mitigation and Self-Protection

    A substantial security breach, known as RockYou2024, has resulted in the unauthorized disclosure of approximately 10 billion unique passwords on a prominent cyber forum. This unprecedented leak encompasses passwords accumulated over several decades of data breaches, posing a significant risk of exploitation in future cyberattacks.

    The database, named "rockyou2024.txt," reportedly contains nearly 10 billion unique passwords, collected from thousands of data leaks. This massive compilation surpasses the previous record holder RockYou2021 by adding 1.5 billion new passwords.

    In response, Kaspersky's experts have issued practical guidance to help users protect themselves in the aftermath of the extensive data compromise:

    • Check the breach impact

    When a data breach occurs, the first thing a user is advised to do is to check whether their data has been affected. Modern security solutions, such as Kaspersky Premium, enable the detection of leaked data and provide alerts to enhance security measures if necessary. As well as internal services, there are some public sources that could help to detect whether personal data has been leaked or not.

    • Change your passwords as soon as possible

    In the event of a data breach, it is essential to change your passwords immediately and consider all other sites where the same password is being used. New passwords should be unique for each account, be at least 8 characters long, combine letters with numbers and symbols. In order to check whether a combination is strong enough, a password checker can be employed.  

    • Block and reissue your bank card, if necessary

    If payment data was stored by a service that experienced a data breach, it is best to block and reissue a card for added security. Usually reissuing a bank card doesn’t take too much time and effort, therefore preventing a greater inconvenience.

    A tool like this creates strong passwords and stores them securely in an encrypted vault. Besides, it is enabled to monitor data leaks and check if user’s passwords were compromised.

    • Don’t forget about two-factor authentication

    A recent survey by Kaspersky revealed how easily compromised accounts can be without 2FA and strong passwords. To protect an account from unauthorised access, it is highly recommended to set up 2FA. This can be accomplished by receiving a confirmation via SMS, email, or using an authentication app or password manager that generates one-time codes.

    • Securely close unused accounts

    If there are no plans to continue using a service after a data leak, it is advisable to delete the account and request the complete removal of all collected data by contacting technical support or the address in the Privacy Policy. This step, often outlined in the "Your Rights" section of legitimate services, can also reveal the extent of data exposure.

    • Share only the essential minimum of personal information online

    As massive service leaks are not uncommon, it is recommended to minimise information provided to a service. When you register, using a main email address is unnecessary: auto-substitution can be used instead. Additionally, if not required, omit the real name and residence address.

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