The hackers seem to have a field day with another massive hack coming to light. This time, its VK or the Russian equivalent of Facebook that has found itself at the receiving end of the hacker’s ire. The breach count stands at over 171 million, with the majority of the user records now up for sale.
However, VK has stated the recent hack does not pose a significant security risk to the platform considering that the login details reached the underground online marketplace refer to old details that were relevant in 2011-12. Since all of its users were then forced to reset their passwords, their accounts continue to remain safe, provided they follow the standard security procedures. That includes installing only reliable software downloaded from authorized sources, using a strong password that is changed periodically and enabling a 2-step verification process.
As for the latest hack, the obvious similarities from the recent security breaches are hard to ignore. For instance, the VK hack has turned out to be the handiwork of Peace, the same group whose recent exploits include Myspace, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Fling.com. Also similar to the previous occasion, the data dump is on sale in exchange for the digital currency Bitcoin. For the VK data dump, about 100 million accounts and not the entire set, the asking price is however just 1 Bitcoin, which comes to around $580.
Among the information made public includes first and last name, location, email address, phone number along with the VK password.
Further, even if the password happens to be irrelevant as claimed by VK, those might still be of use for the hackers given the general trend among online users using the same password on multiple websites.
What is worrying is that users continue to rely on the infamous “123456” and “123456789” number sequence as passwords, which are still being used by 709,067 and 416,591 number of users respectively.
Further, the hack seems to have happened before 2013, which is also the window during which the other hacks were also reported. The hackers are putting the data up for sale collected a few years ago, and it only can be anybody’s guess what they might be up to right now.
VK (short for Vkontakte) happens to be the biggest social networking site in Europe with over 350 million users. However, the website is considered as an offshoot of Facebook with almost the same features.