According to various reports, starting with Russia’s CNews, nearly five million Gmail usernames and passwords were leaked, and published to a Russia Bitcoin forum.
Much of the information is old and potentially out-of-date, Google representatives told Russian media, so the so-called “leak” may be more accurately described as a collection of phished and hacked credentials collected over years. In fact, many of the accounts have long been suspended or are matched with very old passwords.
The file contains information on English-, Russian-, and Spanish-speaking users of Google services, such as Gmail and Google Plus. In addition to Google, the leak includes thousands of user credentials for Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia. Google and Yandex representatives told CNews that while the credentials were stolen through years of phishing and hacking against individuals, their own systems were never compromised.
TheNextWeb provides further comment from Google:
“The security of our users’ information is a top priority for us,” a Google spokesperson told TNW. “We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that accounts may have been, we take steps to help those users secure their accounts.”
There’s a very good possibility this won’t affect you at all, but it might not be a bad idea to change your password to be on the safe side.
Image via Wikimedia Commons