I’m decidedly old-school in a few of my habits. My morning routine, barring anything out of the ordinary, is one such example. Typically, I’ll get up between 6:30 to 7:00 am, grab my first cup of coffee, and then chat with my daughters for a few minutes before seeing them off to school. Next, I make a bowl of oatmeal (a great choice for diabetics like me), pour a second cup of coffee, and browse the local paper, The Tennessean, while I have breakfast. On the morning of August 5, I had the added pleasure of spewing said coffee and oatmeal all over my morning paper when I read the headlines: Russian gang stole 1.2 billion Net passwords.
Scanning the article, midway through the details, I saw that the hackers used good, ol’ fashioned SQL injection attacks. They target approximately 450,000 websites from small mom-and-pop shops to the very largest company websites. A bit later, I read more online from The New York Times article where the story first broke.
Their efforts brought in 4.5 billion records in total, each one containing a user name and password, resulting 1.2 billion unique accounts. And of those unique accounts, a little data processing found that there were about 542 million unique email address, since many people use the same user name and password on multiple accounts.