Up to 360m accounts online have been accessed by hackers and are available to the highest bidder on online black markets, US security firm Hold Security has reported.
The find by the company does not relate to credit-card details, but rather to people’s user names and passwords across a multitude of websites, which could give cyber-criminals access to important documents and account information.
Having previously found evidence of user information being leaked, Hold Security tracked leaks since the beginning of the month and discovered nearly 360m stolen and abused credentials and more than 1.25bn records containing only email addresses.
The group is unsure where the attacks are coming from but it has asked people across the world to remain vigilant of any suspicious activity that could be the result of a hacking attempt.
In October 2013, Hold Security identified 153m stolen credentials from Adobe which, while worrying, contained encrypted passwords.
The company also discovered in November 2013 a breach of 42m users’ data from online dating service CupidMedia.