How hijackers steal passwords

Hackers manage to get 250 000 valid log-in names and passwords of Google accounts via phishing

How hijackers steal passwords

Regarding third-party data breaches, 12 per cent of the exposed records contained a Gmail address which served as a username and password.

Google has teamed up with the University of California, Berkeley to understand how hijackers take over accounts in the wild.

"Our findings were clear: enterprising hijackers are constantly searching for, and are able to find, billions of different platforms' usernames and passwords on black markets", said Google.

The threats online can be encapsulated to three MOs: keylogging, third-party breaches, and phishing. Around 234,000 valid names and passwords are obtained through phishing every week, whereas keyloggers yielded about 15,000 valid credentials each week.

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"Visit Google's Security Checkup to make sure you have recovery information associated with your account, like a phone number, and allow Chrome to automatically generate passwords for your accounts and save them via Smart Lock", they concluded.

"In total, these sources helped us identify 788,000 credentials stolen via keyloggers, 12 million credentials stolen via phishing, and 3.3 billion credentials exposed by third-party breaches", said Google on 10 November.

Attackers have begun to use tools that find out the victim's phone numbers, IP addresses, location and even the type of device; all of which can be used, just in case there is something more needed to get it.

The study was presented at the Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in Dallas, Texas and is now available in full from Research at Google. For stronger security, there's also the company's Advanced Protection program that consists of three core defenses, including but not limited to Security Keys.

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Over 4000 distinct phishing kits were discovered during the study, the most popular of which emulates Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail login pages.

"While our study focused on Google, these password stealing tactics pose a risk to all account-based online services". However, the company is taking serious actions and assimilating the safety measures to keep away unauthorized strangers from entering into your users' accounts. Needless to say, that's because if a hacker manages to successfully steal one credential, then they can use it to access the victim's accounts on other websites.

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