Millions of email addresses and passwords shared among hackers

Computer image by MGN

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) - A collection of stolen email addresses and passwords is now circulating among hackers and scammers.

Computer security expert Troy Hunt broke down the numbers on his blog Thursday. The collection includes:

  • 1,160,253,228 -- that's 1.1 billion -- unique combinations of email addresses and passwords
  • 772,904,991 unique email addresses
  • 21,222,975 unique passwords

According to Hunt, hackers put together the collection from a variety of data breaches. He says, other hackers will try the email and password combinations on a variety of sites to see what works.

Computer users who use the same passwords on multiple sites may find their accounts compromised.

Hunt created a website to help users determine when their email address has been accessed in data breaches. Visit "have i been pwned" to see if hackers have your information.

In a separate area of the website, Hunt added a feature that lets you look up your password. If your password is identified as pwned, it's been published in a plain text format somewhere on the internet.

Security experts advise using a secure password manager, so each site you visit can have a unique strong password, without you having to remember them all. That limits your risk when one account is part of a data breach.

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