711 Million Email Addresses have been Hacked, here’s how to find out if yours is one too

Do you know that your email address has most likely been hacked and now part of a 711 million email database? Yes, in one of the largest episodes of email address breach and hacking, a huge database of hacked emails has been uncovered by a Paris Based security researcher called Benkow.

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The hacked email data base is the largest of its kind and contains two separate accounts of data. One is just email addresses which are sold for fees to data seekers while another is an even more serious issue that contains email addresses along with their passwords.

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1 Email addresses are being hacked worldwide

The information of such an incident is being widely circulated by a website called “Have I been pawned” or HIPB and is also helping users find out via a search tool if their email address has been pawned or hacked. Just go to the link provided at the end of the article to find out if your email has been hacked. You will get details as to whether your email address is just part of the regular database or is it part of the database that has hacked passwords too.

The security researcher Benkow has uncovered 700 million email addresses that have been harvested including the ones with hacked passwords. HIPB is run by security expert Troy Hunt who was incidentally one of the first people who got his hands on this list which was given to him by Benkow.

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2 Who is responsible?

As stated by Hunt the hacked email addresses are part of the single largest worldwide data list he has ever come across. He writes: “for a sense of scale, that’s almost one address for every single man, woman, and child in all of Europe.”

So who exactly is responsible for this mega episode? The data of hacked emails has been harvested by a spam bot machine called “Onliner Spambot”. Hunt and Benkow located it and traced it to an IP address listed in Netherlands. However Hunt will not pursue the matter further as it could lead to a spread of the data which could have serious consequence for the users involved. As of now just think that your email address is contained comfortably by a bot machine ready for potential use. It’s best you change your Password now.

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3 How to check if your email has been hacked

Law enforcement agencies have been notified so that they can make attempts to shut this thing down but it will tackle toe for that to happen. The best defense against the spam bot is to check on HIBP if your email is among the list and simply have your password changed. Moreover you should not hastily subscribe to websites at random.

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In case you find that your email is among the hacked email addresses, then one cannot stress enough to change your password. Moreover do this every three months to stay safe. If you’re wondering how such email addresses are made available, then here is a list of email leaks which contribute to such incidents.

October 2016: Dailymotion video sharing platform: data breach attack: 85 million email addresses, user names and crypt hashes of passwords hacked and compromised.

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May 2016: Linkedin: 164 million email addresses and passwords exposed. Originally hacked in 2012 but sold on dark market 4 years later.

Zomato Restaurant Guide: May 2017: 17 million accounts hacked and redistributed online including email addresses and salted MD5 hashes of passwords. The information was sold on the dark web.

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To check your status if your email has been hacked click on the link www.haveibeenpwned.com and enter your email in the search bar.

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