If you have an email account with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, or Mail.ru then you should probably change your password sooner rather than later. This is because hundreds of millions of login details associated with email accounts have been circulating online among digital criminals.
According to Reuters, a company called Hold Security recently obtained a database of 272 million unique email addresses and passwords. The company claims a Russian hacker offered them the database in exchange for (bizarrely) just $1. When Hold Security refused to pay, the hacker handed over the treasure trove for positive coverage on social media sites.
Around 57 million of the email/password combinations are for Mail.ru users, 40 million are for Yahoo Mail, 33 million are for Hotmail, and 24 million are for Gmail. As well as email accounts, there are passwords associated with other websites. Which effectively means no one can be sure their credentials aren’t included in this database.
All of the affected email providers have been alerted to the discovery, and all will undoubtedly deal with it in their own way. The same goes for individual users, but we would recommend changing the password to your main email account just tobe on the safe side. Especially if you use that same password across multiple websites.