A huge database of 3.2 billion username and password combinations have been leaked in one of the largest data dumps in history. Analysts suggest this level of personal data breach could be unprecedented.
Experts believe that this breach likely includes data pulled from security breaches going back as far as 10 years. This melting pot of many various hacks and data breaches is known as a “COMB”, or Compilation of Many Breaches.
The news website Cyber News has taken to aggregating the data found in the breach, finding that there is likely data from Netflix, LinkedIn, Exploit.in, Bitcoin, and other companies. The data dive on the 2017 COMB found a similar mixture of data from various sources, much like the 2021 COMB.
This breach is being likened to the 2017 “COMB” breach, which had 1.4 billion username/password combinations, similarly shipped together in a compilation.
The 2017 COMB was sourced from roughly 252 previous breaches. These leaks are not lists, but are actually interactive databases, giving hackers the tools to automate their exploits against users if they so choose.
Experts caution against using the same password for multiple accounts, given that old passwords found in the 2017 and 2021 COMBs could come back to haunt users if they still employ those passwords.
Experts also advise users to use tools like Google Authenticator, providing them with a secondary line of defense should their information become compromised.