Collection #1: 773 million leaked data dumped on file sharing site

Collection #1: 773 million leaked data dumped on file sharing site

 

 

A large mass of leaked personal data like emails, usernames, and passwords have surfaced on file sharing service Mega. The dump contains 773 million unique records and is called Collection #1. All those affected are being advised to ensure they are not reusing passwords between services.

 

First announced by Troy Hunt, the security researcher behind leak-monitoring platform Have I Been Pwned, Collection #1 is one of the largest leaks in history: Gathering credentials from numerous individual breaches, the data dump contains 2,692,818,238 rows with 1,160,253,228 unique email address and password combinations – though further cleaning of seemingly-junk entries reveals 772,904,991 unique email addresses and around 21,222,975 unique passwords.

 

‘Last week, multiple people reached out and directed me to a large collection of files on the popular cloud service, Mega (the data has since been removed from the service),’ Hunt explains. ‘ The collection totalled over 12,000 separate files and more than 87GB of data […] (allegedly) from many different sources. The post on the forum referenced ‘a collection of 2000+ dehashed databases and combos stored by topic’ and provided a directory listing of 2,890 of the files. Whilst there are many legitimate breaches that I recognise in that list, that’s the extent of my verification efforts and it’s entirely possible that some of them refer to services that haven’t actually been involved in a data breach at all. However, what I can say is that my own personal data is in there and it’s accurate; right email address and a password I used many years ago.’

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While copies of the raw data are still floating around after its removal from Mega, those who may be affected by the leak have an easier way to check: Entering an email address into Have I Been Pwned, or a domain under your control to check multiple addresses at the same time, will reveal whether it is found in the Collection #1 database – or any other leak or breach tracked by the service.

For those who reuse passwords – a dangerous practice which means a breach of an unimportant service can provide credentials valid for more important sites like banking – Hunt has also launched a secondary feature allowing individual passwords to be checked against all tracked breaches and leaks. This is a process which he admits requires the user to trust his claims that passwords entered into the site are anonymised client-side and never transmitted to Have I Been Pwned.

 

For those affected by the leak – and for everyone else, for that matter – Hunt has two pieces of advice: ‘If you’re reusing the same password(s) across services, go and get a password manager and start using strong, unique ones across all accounts. Also turn on 2-factor authentication wherever it’s available.’

 

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