Speed Reads

change your password

Hacking ring is said to have 1.2 billion stolen user names and passwords

With 1.2 billion stolen web credentials in the possession of a hacking ring, you might want to consider changing your online passwords.

Security experts believe this is the largest stockpile of stolen credentials in history, NPR reports. The gang has user names, email addresses, and passwords, having targeted 420,000 websites of all sizes in several countries, including Russia and the United States. The New York Times broke the story, and says the ring is based in a small city in south-central Russia and is comprised of less than 12 men in their 20s.

"I think all internet users should assume they've been impacted by this," Orla Cox, director of security response for anti-virus software company Symantec, told NPR. "Clearly these aren't opportunists, they aren't hobbyists. These are full time cyber-criminals, they have been likely carrying this out for a number of months, maybe even years."

The breach was discovered by Milwaukee-based Hold Security, and the company is not saying which businesses were targeted, as many still aren't safe from hackers.