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RockYou2021: Hackers Exposed 8.4 Billion Passwords Online and Your Security Might be at Risk

by Nabjot Kaur

RockYou2021: Hackers Exposed 8.4 Billion Passwords Online and Your Security Might be at Risk

June 9, 2021

"Its 8.4 billion leaked passwords, along with passwords from multiple other leaked databases, are included in the RockYou2021 compilation that has been amassed by the person behind this collection over several years"

CyberNews investigators
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Billion passwords leaked by RockYou2021

Millions of passwords, including- details of credit cards, bank accounts, and ID cards, are leaked and sold on the dark web or Mariana’s web. Hackers use this data to steal your personal information. “There is no silver bullet in cybersecurity. Everything out there is hackable with enough time, with enough tools, with enough expertise,” said Stephanie Domas, VP of R&D for MedSec. She also said that even a pacemaker is hackable. There’s always an event related to cybersecurity or password leakage, making it to the headlines. According to Hacker One’s 2021 Hacker report, the number of hackers submitting vulnerabilities increased by 63% during the pandemic. The bug bounty platform noted a similar growth.

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Details of credit cards, bank accounts, and ID cards, are leaked and sold on the dark web or Mariana's web.

Cybernews recently reported that a staggering 100Gb text file containing 8.4 billion password entries was leaked on a famous hackers forum. Mind that the world’s population is 7 billion according to the last census, which means there are great chances of you being one of the victims of this data leak. Out of all the known security breaches,  this is one of the most extensive data leaks to date dubbed as “RockYou2021”. Leaked credentials may include login information for Facebook, Instagram, PayPal, Apple etc. The report also revealed that the leaked passwords are 6-20 characters long with white spaces removed and non-ASCII characters. Soon after this news, researchers noted that the actual number was ten times lower than what these authors claimed in the report. It was 8,459,060,239 unique entries instead of 8.4 billion. Researchers emphasized that the RockYou2021 data leak can be compared with COMB(Compilation of Many Breaches), a giant database leak.

Eleven years ago, nobody knew about RockYou. Back then, RockYou was a social application site open to the general public – reported Tech Crunch. RockYou experienced a data breach that leaked the personal information of its users. Soon after this data breach, a text file dubbed “RockYou” containing email passwords and details of 32 million users was made available on the internet. RockYou was also known as a password dictionary that hackers actively use. They are back again in 2021.

Is There a Way To Check if You Were One of The "RockYou2021" Security Breach Victims?

 Fortunately, yes, there are some tools to check that too. These tools are available on the internet, and it won’t take you more than a minute to check if you were a victim of this extensive data leak; one of those tools is an Online data leak checker,  which requires you to put your email or mobile number for checking the password or data leak. It also shows you the websites through which the passwords were leaked. Don’t worry; this website is entirely safe to use as it uses your email and not your password for checking the security breach. There are reports that RockYou2021 is not yet done with uploading the password and data to its database, so keep checking for the potential data leak on the website from time to time.

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One of the tools is an Online data leak checker,  which requires you to put your email or mobile number for checking the password or data leak.

What To Do if You Are One of The Victims of Rockyou2021?

It would be illogical to say not to worry, but there are some measures that you can take after the data check finds out a positive match for your search. 

First, remember that the data leak is fresh, and RockYou2021 have not yet finished uploading the data to the hackers’ dictionary, which means you still have some time to reverse the consequences of this data leak. 

Second, quickly change the passwords for all the websites used by you whose passwords have been leaked. Make sure that you create complex passwords using special characters and numbers. Never keep similar and relatively easy passwords for all the websites or apps you sign up for. 

 
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Two factor authentication is one of the best measure to protect your accounts.

Third, enable Two – factor authentication for all your accounts as it’s one of the most valuable and practical cybersecurity measures. Fourth, never open or sign up for suspicious or unknown texts, emails, apps or websites on your devices. At last, do not forget to log out of your accounts after using them and switch off the internet when not in use.

Just know that taking all these measures doesn’t guarantee 100% security from data leaks as hackers are invincible. But taking these measures may reduce the risk of you falling prey to such cybersecurity failures to a great extent. Data leaks are not new to us. It’s a potential way for black hat hackers to earn money, and it’s a million-dollar illegal business. The only way to withstand this is by educating ourselves because the more you know, the more you can control and make your virtual life safer.

 

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