Millions of e-mail details 'stolen in major security breach'

One security expert warns that while majority are accounts for Russia's most popular email service, tens of millions of them belong to Gmail, Microsoft, and Yahoo Mail users.

If you're still using the same passwords for your email accounts that you were using this time past year, change them.

A young Russian hacker is believed to have hacked into email account data from some of the leading email servers with his data totaling 272.3 million accounts.

The account information, which numbered around 272 million credentials, was primarily from accounts on Russia's largest email provider, Mail.Ru, but also contained account data from Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Microsoft Hotmail accounts.

Hold Security has informed the affected email providers.

A stolen stash now in the Russian underground amounts to 1.17 billion records, a security company says.

When approached by the hacker, Hold Security claimed that that instead of a big ransom demand, the cybercriminal's request was astonishingly modest: 50 rubles.

At the time of writing it's not clear how genuine or how recent the username and password combinations are, but Holden called it a "potent" batch of information. However, since it is apparently Hold Security's policy not to pay for stolen data, the hacker agreed to give the data dump in exchange for positive comments in hacker forums.

"He didn't value this data", said Holden.

"At least 42,000 Irish emails with ".ie" domains are included in a massive data breach that has seen both logins and passwords traded among criminals in Russian Federation. "Often, these credentials are obtained through a combination of other sources".

Now, is analysing the password database, to check if the entries actually match up to user accounts.

According to the BBC, both Google and Yahoo are now investigating the breach.

A Microsoft spokesman said: "Microsoft has security measures in place to detect account compromise and requires additional information to verify the account owner and help them regain sole access".

"When we peel back the layers and dig deeper, we find that the hacker is holding something back from us", the post states.