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More that 21 million unique passwords exposed in massive email breach, security researcher says

Posted: 10:20 AM, Jan 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-17 11:34:05-05

A large file of data has been uploaded to a popular cloud service and shared in a hacking forum — and that data includes 21,222,975 unique passwords.

Gizmodo reports security researcher Troy Hunt, who runs the website "Have I Been Pwned," said the large file contains 12,000 separate files and 87GB with of data. It "appears to be an amalgamation of over 2,000 databases," Gizmodo reports.

It appears the methods used to scramble passwords into unreadable strings has been cracked.

Hunt told Gizmodo this means username and email/password combinations are vulnerable to being used to hack into other user accounts. People who use the same username and email/password combo on multiple sites are at risk.

The breach is being called Collection #1, Gizmodo reports. It contains 2.7 billions combo in total, and Hunt says these are new to his database that helps people discover whether they have been hacked.

The bottom line: It's time for password changes across your online accounts. Gizmodo advises:

• Don't reuse passwords
• Enable two-factor authentication
• Get a password manager

Go here to check Hunt's site and see if you've had information compromised.