Breach shows it's important to have ever-changing, complex passwords

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - Researchers revealed on Wednesday that a Russian crime ring has stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords.

The hackers grabbed 4.5 billion user names and passwords, weeded out duplicates, and now have 1.2 billion.

The breach was revealed by Hold Security that says the Russian hackers pushed spying programs to PC's worldwide, so when users logged onto sites, the hackers got sent their passwords.

Experts say 45 percent of passwords worldwide are 123456.

The director of the Northeast Cyber Forensic Center at Utica College says the breach may end up meaning nothing. You may not ever know if your information was breached.

Anthony Martino says perhaps the value of such a massive hack is that it serves as a wake-up call for computer and Internet users to be more aggressive in protecting their information.

"The danger here is, say, for instance, your Facebook password got compromised. In and of itself, that's not overly severe. You're not going to lose money over that. You may lose some reputational value, but you're not losing money," Martino said. "However, if your Facebook password is the same as your Chase Bank password, now you have a problem."

Martino says breaches like this will probably push companies to put better additional layers of security in place to protect your information.

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