8.24 million email addresses, passwords stolen from Gamigo

Published July 24, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Hackers have posted the email addresses and passwords of more than eight million Gamigo users online -- meaning anyone who commonly reuses the same password could face a serious breach of security.

The leak was detected by data security service PwnedList, which alerts people if their information has been compromised. Site founder Steve Thomas told Forbes that the incident was a tremendous concern.

“It’s the largest leak I’ve ever actually seen,” Thomas told the site. “When this breach originally happened, the data wasn’t released, so it wasn’t a big concern. Now eight million email addresses and passwords have been online, live data for any hacker to see.”

While 8.24 million user names and passwords represents a tremendous compromise of Gamigo’s security, it’s far from the biggest such hack, explained Ron Gula, CEO and CTO of Tenable Network Security.

“To put this in context, the Sony Playstation breach was much larger with 77 million email accounts and other personal data stolen,” Gula told FoxNews.com. “The Steam gaming service also lost 35 million records,” he added.

Still, the data breach represents the largest such incident this year, topping the more than 6 million e-mail addresses stolen from LinkedIn in June and far outstripping the 450,000 passwords taken two weeks ago from Yahoo.

Theft of email addresses and passwords is step one down a path to identity theft, Gula explained.

“Hackers that steal large numbers of emails and passwords are using the data for many things including identity theft, theft of money through online banking and access to a person's credit card.”

To make it harder for cybercrooks to scam you, avoid using the same password at these online sites as you do for banking and e-commerce activities, he said. For an added degree of security, pad out your digital identity with a few extra email addresses.

“Paranoid users leverage different email accounts for different services, which makes it harder for an attacker to target them. Ultra paranoid users have separate computers (or iPads) for doing online banking as they do for general Internet and gaming usage,” Gula told FoxNews.com.

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