In a Dark Web marketplace, one can buy anything from illegal drugs to weapons, fake documents to malicious software and even stolen databases, etc. Although after the shut down of Hansa and AlphaBay marketplace, buying and selling have slowed down. It does not, however, mean it has been fully curbed.
Recently, a dark web monitoring firm 4iQ discovered a massive trove of the 41GB data file containing 1.4 billion billion login credentials including emails and passwords in clear-text format. Researchers believe it is the “largest aggregate database found in the dark web to date” beating the Onliner Spambot dump with 711 Million accounts following Exploit.in data dump in which 593 million accounts were exposed.
Although, in their blog post, researchers maintained that the data they found is a “breach,” but then they also state that “This dump aggregates 252 previous breaches” meaning it is not a breach but a combined list of login credentials complied by someone from previous data breaches including the aforementioned Anti Public Combo List, Exploit.in dumps and LinkedIn.
The dump was discovered on a dark web forum on December 5th, 2017 in which the total amount of data is 1,400,553,869 with usernames/emails and their clear text password. “This database makes finding passwords faster and easier than ever before. As an example searching for “admin,” “administrator” and “root” returned 226,631 passwords of admin users in a few seconds,” explains 4iQ’s Julio Casal.
The company further noted that in total, 14% of exposed login credentials were never exposed to public neither were they ever decrypted on any forum however now these credentials are available in clear text format for anyone to download.
Researchers believe since the data is 100% decrypted and available in alphabetical order it poses a great threat to users since most of us use the same password on social media sites and banking platforms. 4iQ is currently in the process of analyzing the full data dump and might take a while to come up with full disclosure of their findings, therefore, stay tuned; this article will be updated accordingly.
Those who are unaware of previous data breaches; there have been several tech giants who have had their data stolen and sold on dark web marketplaces. Some of them include LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, Bitcoin forums, Zomato, and others. Also, in March this year, HackRead discovered 21 million Gmail, and Yahoo accounts that were being sold on Dark Web.