Earlier this month, a security researcher by the name of Mark Burnett took it upon himself to release 10 million real account passwords onto the Internet. What makes this different from similar leaks in the past is that these passwords were also linked to the real accounts that were using them – meaning that everything from bank account logins to email address credentials could be sitting online in one database that can be downloaded by anyone in the world with an active Internet connection.
Mark Burnett is a security consultant who works in the field of security for devices running the Microsoft Windows operating system, including servers, networks and more. It’s important to note that all of the information that Burnett released was previously available online – just in many separate forms. He is simply the first person that took the time to compile all of the information into a single document and also to link passwords with their original user names.
How this Affects Your Association and Members:
See If Your Information Has Been Compromised
Though the full document is online and can be downloaded at any time, it is not recommended that a user do so – even if they’re attempting to find out if their information has been compromised. Downloading the file could be seen as an illegal act in certain areas. Instead, visit sites like pwnedlist.com and haveibeenpwned.com to search for your username against the information contained in the document to see if your information was part of it.
Inform Your Members
Thankfully many of the millions of leaked passwords were from inactive and/or spam accounts. This has served as an important reminder to always use secure passwords and to not use the same passwords for multiple sites. Some viewed the leaking of the passwords as a security threat, I prefer to think of it as research showing us how to continually improve cyber security.
About the Author:
Chris Backert is the GM of Election-America. With over 10 years of experience in elections, Chris Backert is a proven innovator in the field of elections. Chris can be reached directly at (866) 514-2995 x 102 or CBackert@Election-America.com.