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Researcher reports that stolen credentials are distributed for free on the dark web

If you're reading this article, it's time to change all your passwords.

This is because there is a good chance that your login information - or at least an earlier version - is circulating on secret networks (the dark web) where hackers are trading stolen passwords.

These secret networks are constantly growing, according to Alex Heid, lead researcher and developer SecurityScorecard, a security company at cyberspace.

Dark web

"Within the underground hacking community, credentials are bought, sold and distributed for free like Pokémon cards," Heid told Business Insider. "There are dozens of different hacking forums that contain terabytes of information at least 10 years old."

These forums work primarily on the dark web, a network of encrypted sites that do not appear on algorithms search. The login credentials and passwords that end up in these dark web forums usually come from huge breaches data, which happened frequently throughout the previous year.

Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated database software to compile "combo lists" of millions of connection credentials, according to Heid.

Even if hackers only have one set of credentials - for example, DoorDash users - they can easily invade the user's accounts on other sites. Hackers use "checkers" or programs that can obtain an email address user and quickly determine if it is used by others websites. From there, hackers usually try to link to these other sites using the same password, betting that objectives they use the same password on all platforms. In many cases, they are successful.

With the hacking to become ever more profitable and hacker software to become more sophisticated, there is no indication that this trend will slow down soon. In the meantime, Heid advises users to change their passwords and ensure that passwords are different on services that they use.


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