Normally, the cybercriminals responsible can leak the usernames and passwords stolen from one organization or business when a data breach occurs. However, more than 3.2 billion unique pairs of cleartext emails and passwords obtained from past leaks are included in a new collection recently posted on an online hacking forum. This latest data leak, as stated by CyberNews, is referred to as the “Compilation of Many Breaches” (COMB) because it includes more than twice the amount of unique pairs of emails and passwords than the 2017 Breach Compilation in which 1.4 billion credentials were made available online.
Also, just as with the Breach Compilation of 2017, the leaked database of COMB includes a script called count total.sh. This new leak, however, also includes the query.sh script to query emails and the sorter.sh script to sort the data it contains.
CyberNews found that COMB comprises more than 3.27bn email and password pairs after running the count total.sh script. The news outlet is currently adding the leak credentials to its Personal Data Leak Checker for this purpose so that users can find out if their emails or passwords have been leaked online.
COMB(“Compilation of Many Breaches”)
COMB appears to be the biggest list of multiple breaches ever posted online, instead of being a new data breach. This latest information leak shares many similarities to the Breach Compilation of 2017, including the fact that its data is structured in a tree-like structure and that emails and passwords are queried using the same scripts. It is still uncertain at this time as to which previously leaked databases were included in COMB. Samples saw by CyberNews, however, reveal that the emails and passwords found in the leak come from domains worldwide.
As a large number of users reuse their passwords and usernames across numerous online accounts, as a result of COMB, the effect on customers and companies can be unparalleled as this knowledge can be used to trigger credential stuffing and other cyber attacks. Another issue is the fact that cybercriminals can pivot to other more valuable accounts, such as their email or even their cloud storage, using the passwords from a user’s social media accounts.
CyberNews suggests that users set up multi-factor authentication and use a password manager to further secure their online accounts to avoid falling victim to any potential accounts carried out using the data stored in COMB. We’ll likely hear more from the news outlet once all of the data in COMB has been analyzed to determine which leaks the 3.2bn+ emails and passwords originally came from.