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Google underplays ‘hack’ but resets account passwords

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Google underplays ‘hack’ but resets account passwords

Search giant Google has quashed reports claiming that the login credentials of five million users of its Gmail service have been compromised following a recent hack against its security systems.

Earlier this month, news providers reported that a list containing a significant number of users’ email addresses and corresponding passwords had been uploaded to a Russian forum after an apparent breach.

A statement was posted on the company’s security blog, stating that the alleged leaked details are a result of a “credential dump” as opposed to a breach of the firm’s systems, which means that the usernames and passwords were acquired from other websites that have been compromised, or from phishing attacks.

According to the tech company, which shot to fame with its search engine that keeps SEO companies alert, not all of the username and password combinations will have worked, with there being a 2% chance that they will have been correct. However, Google is adamant that its automated anti-hijacking system will have been alerted to this and blocked any login attempts.

To ensure the safety of users’ accounts, the firm has notified the owners of compromised accounts and has reset them, prompting the owners to change their passwords when they next log in to the emailing service.

As well as resetting accounts, the firm has also issued advice to all users, asking them to review their security settings and ensure they use unique and strong passwords to keep their emails safe.

Alan Littler

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