427m leaked passwords surface from enormous 2013 MySpace data breach

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Remember MySpace? If you do, you were probably a teenager when N’SYNC was a thing, and the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy the world. But it remains relevant as ever in 2016, even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

Back in June 2013, MySpace experienced something of a security breach. Hackers gained access to “email addresses, Myspace usernames, and Myspace passwords”, details the company’s blog, but more importantly, this breach affected those “Myspace accounts created prior to June 11, 2013.”

That means practically everyone who used the old MySpace platform was, and is, at risk.

The breach is reportedly the handiwork of Russian hacker “Peace,” the same chap “responsible for other recent criminal attacks such as those on LinkedIn and Tumblr, and has claimed on the paid hacker search engine LeakedSource that the data is from a past breach,” continues MySpace.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and we will share more information as it becomes available.”

But what we already know is this…

According to LeakedSource, there are 427-million passwords and 360-million email addresses floating around on its searchable database. One of those could be yours. Some of those passwords Motherboard staff confirmed as genuine too. LeakedSource elaborates further: “Of the 360 million, 111,341,258 accounts had a username attached to it and 68,493,651 had a secondary password.”

What’s even more incredible is the commonality of some passwords.

Apart from “homelesspa” (LeakSource suggests that this could be an automatically generated password), “password1” (585 503 uses), “abc123” (569 503), and everyone’s favourite “12345” (487 945) are the most often used passwords on the network. And we’re not even mentioning the other similar 12345 passwords.

If you’re feeling a tad queasy right now, and happen to spot your email/password combination on LeakedSource, you can contact the site.

“If your personal information appears in our copy of the MySpace database, or in any other leaked database that we possess, you may contact us and request to have it removed free of charge.”

MySpace also suggests that users change their passwords by following this link.

MySpace, in its heyday of late 2008, the site had over 75-million monthly uniques. That, after its sharp decline and purchase by Time Inc., has since dropped to around 50.

Even if MySpace isn’t quite the social media behemoth it used to be, pioneering the way for the millenials Twitter and Facebook, we suggest you either log in to change your account, or delete it.

And if you’re wondering, yeah, I just did the latter.

Feature image: egg (Hong, Yun Seon) via Flickr

Andy Walker
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