Backbytes: One billion passwords cracked! Pay $120 to find out if you're affected...

By Backbytes
06 Aug 2014 View Comments

When news went round that a "Russian gang" had cracked some 1.2 billion user names and passwords - for what, it wasn't entirely clearly - our eyebrows were raised so high even Roger Moore would have been impressed.

It wasn't just the lack of specifics: What, exactly, did these user names and passwords open up? Were they encrypted or unencrypted? What losses could reasonably be attributed to such a treasure trove of authentication data?

Further reading

But also the uses to which they had allegedly been put. According to the New York Times article, the company responsible could only say that some of them had been used to compromise Twitter accounts in order to send spam - the horrors!

What launched our eyebrows into orbit was the offer by the company, some outfit called "Hold Security", to tell you whether any of your accounts had been compromised - for a low monthly fee starting at just $120. Yes, per month.

The service even "comes with a 2-week money back guarantee, unless we provide any data right away", according to the company's website. Under questioning of some more clued-up IT hacks, the company quickly back-tracked? $120 per month? Sorry, terrible mistake, they meant per year.

Err. Thanks. Panic over.

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