We have reported a lot about how a new hack has been carried out on a particular social media platform or a database and we also hear later on that the results of the hack have been devastating. That is because the information from the hack has been found on the dark web or some forums that are members-only. Now, security researchers have warned everyone about the same and said that things could be very dangerous. Because researchers believe that billions of passwords are available on underground forums and they could well be used to exploit systems.
The fact that these passwords are available on underground forums means that only limited people know about their existence meaning that changing passwords is the only option. In any case, security experts advise everyone to change their passwords every month or every 3 months at the latest. This is so that even if the passwords are compromised, the damage can be minimised. The researchers have revealed that information “for everything from network administrator accounts and bank details to streaming services and anti-virus software are up for grabs on the dark web”.
They say that more than 15 billion accounts and passwords are available on underground forums and even if 10% of these accounts are active than it could be trouble for the account holders. Adding to this, research has found that “Many breached accounts are shared multiple times – suggesting that despite being hacked, the user remains unaware of what has happened”
In addition, 5 billion “unique” accounts are also available to the hackers meaning that those accounts that have never been used or shared online and users need to pay to get access to them. Also, there is a value attached to each type of credentials and the highest pay goes to account credentials that give administrator-level access to organisations and they have been sold for as much as $120,000.