With the whole Target ordeal happening, and more people being aware of their card usage, it seems to be like more people are on the hunt for information. Hold Security is just one place that handles regulation of such occurrences. According to the chief information security officer at Hold Security, in just three weeks, his company was able to detect 360 million different account credentials being sold on the black market.
Reuters had an interview with Hold Security, and they frighten us with the warning that "The discovery could represent more of a risk to consumers and companies than stolen credit card data because of the chance the sets of user names and passwords could open the door to online bank accounts, corporate networks, health records and virtually any other type of computer system."
These days, you can pretty much buy anything online, including stuff that is not supposed to be allowed like illegal stuff. There are black market services available for sale on a web-based service site. Amongst these black market services are hundreds of millions of people's account information. Stuff that is supposed to be confidential is being stolen and sold without us knowing. Hold Security is currently in the process of figuring out where the credentials are being taken from and what can be accessed. While they don't know exactly where and how this is happening, they do warn that more than we think is being confiscated into the black market.
The email addresses being sold include Gmail, Yahoo, almost all Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations; whoever got a hold of these is clearly going after a massive scale. What's even more scary is the fact that of these 360 million credentials, almost all of them are new to these black market sites. In addition to that, more than 1 billion email addresses are being sold on these black market sites as well. Who is behind this and why are they doing it? No one knows yet. The sneaky hackers clearly have some accomplice if they're getting this many different credentials and emails, but where it started no one knows. After what we've seen happen with the Target case, this is just scary to even imagine.
In the meantime, stay safe from hackers by changing your passwords, and keeping a close eye on your statements and credit. Whoever you are, we're coming for you!