5 million Gmail passwords hacked: should you be worried?

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The hackers are having a busy month, No sooner has the dust settled on the mass theft of nude celebrity photos, the news comes that there has been a major Gmail breach.

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According to the IBTimes, around five million Google account credentials have been leaked online by hackers, with around 60 per cent of the compromised accounts judged to still be active.

A user called “tvskit” made the announcement on a Russian Bitcoin forum on Tuesday evening, along with a link to the alleged email list. The majority of the leaked accounts seem to belong to Russian users.

The leak became known after a user posted a link to the log-in credentials on Reddit.

Google is advising users not to panic though. In a security blogpost,  the company says that that less than two per cent of username and password combinations might have worked. It also said that it constantly monitors for these “password dumps” and its anti-hijacking systems would have prevented many login attempts.

Mashable is also advising people not to panic, saying that if you’ve used a Gmail password that’s unique from other accounts, you might not have to worry.

It says that the leaked addresses and passwords seem to be old, and they don’t appear to actually belong to Gmail accounts.

“Instead, it seems that many of the passwords were taken from websites where users used their Gmail addresses to register, according to some of the leak’s victims as well as security experts.”

If you are worried that your details may have been compromised, you can check the Is Leaked website to see if your Gmail address is on the list.

But even if it is not, it is still a good idea to change your password, just to be on the safe side.

Stuart O’Connor