A Russian hacker stole the account information for 272.3 million e-mail accounts according to a recent study by a cybersecurity research firm.
The accounts belong to Internet users from around the world, and include G-Mail, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Hotmail, along with major e-mail service providers in Germany, Russia and China.
After getting rid of duplicates, the researchers found that the hacker had obtained 57 million accounts, out of about 64 million total Mail.ru accounts, the most popular e-mail service in Russia.
Security researchers apparently came across a Russian hacker that was bragging about stealing a huge amount of account information, claiming to have over 1 billion accounts, according to the security researchers.
Based on what the researchers told Reuters, the hacker was mostly interested in promoting himself—the hacker was offering the data for less $1, but researchers struck a deal that merely required them to say nice things about him in the hacker forum.
The discovery was made by researchers at Hold Security, a cybersecurity firm that specializes in Eastern European cybercrime.
Update: Mail.Ru responded to this blog, saying: An analysis performed by Mail.Ru “shows that 99.982% of Mail.Ru account credentials found in the database are invalid. The database is most likely a compilation of a few old data dumps collected by hacking web services where people used their email address to register. Therefore, it is fair to assume that the sole purpose of issuing the report was to create media hype and draw the public attention."
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