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article imageDropbox breached, 6 million usernames and passwords stolen

By James Walker     Oct 16, 2014 in Technology
Four hundred usernames and passwords for Dropbox accounts gathered from users have been posted online in plain text format with an assurance that over 6 million more have also been collected.
The details were posted on Pastebin by an anonymous user who claims he has 6,937,081 usernames and passwords for Dropbox after hacking the service. Obviously, he has revealed only a very small minority of the total so far.
Dropbox denies the breach though, adding that most of the details have expired and were stolen in previous attacks against the company. It said "We'd previously detected these attacks and the vast majority of the passwords posted have been expired for some time now. All other remaining passwords have been expired as well."
The attack comes days after thousands of nude photos, including shots of children, were posted online after being gathered from third-party Snapchat clients. It also comes off the back of the scandal of the nude photos of celebrities stolen from iCloud a few weeks ago. Although both incidents are completely unrelated, it shows how any online service is vulnerable to attack.
Dropbox advises that users can take some simple steps to better protect their identities online, suggesting turning on two-factor authentication to secure your account. Available on other services too, it requires you to enter a code sent to your phone before logging in on a computer that you have not used before. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your account even if they have the password.
Even though Dropbox claims that the details are all out of date and expired, it may be worth changing your password if you are an active user of the service anyway. The anonymous Pastebin user is advertising that more user credentials will be posted in exchange for Bitcoin payments and it is good practice to periodically change passwords on major platforms anyway.
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