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An Identity Mega-Heist By Russian Hackers

Russian hackers have amassed over a billion stolen Internet identities — the largest cyber-haul ever. We look at the stakes in the mega-hack. Plus: ISIS attacks on Iraq’s Yazidi minority.

In this file photo, Internet users browse Facebook. (AP/Kin Cheung)

In this file photo, Internet users browse Facebook. (AP/Kin Cheung)

Shockaroo headlines on the Internet security front yesterday.  A Russian gang has reportedly stolen a billion-plus Internet credentials, identities, from almost half a million websites.  More than possibly websites that you are on.  More than possibly your credentials – name, passwords.  The keys to your Internet kingdom.  On the one hand, we are almost beyond being shocked at Internet security breakdowns.  It can look like Swiss cheese out there.  On the other hand, 1.2 billion stolen?  Is that a national security issue?  This hour, On Point:  the mega Internet credential heist, and what it means.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Danny Yadron, cybersecurity  reporter for the Wall Street Journal. (@dannyyadron)

Scott Borg, director and chief economist at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit research institute that investigates strategic and economic consequences of cyber-attacks.

Shaun Waterman, cybersecurity editor at Politico. (@watermanreports)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Russian Hackers Amass Over a Billion Internet Passwords –  “A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, including 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses, security researchers say.”

The Washington Post: Russian hackers steal more than 1 billion passwords. Security firm seizes opportunity. – “Click the link and you’re taken to a page that says “YOU HAVE BEEN HACKED!” followed by a description of the breach. “Do not panic! Try to strategize,” they write, before inviting you to sign up for a 30-day free trial of an identify theft monitoring service that is not available yet. (They say it will be up and running within 60 days.)”

The Guardian: Cybersecurity experts take Russian hacking scare ‘with a pinch of salt’ – “Security researchers have expressed concern over the claim that more than 4.5bn user credentials including 1.2bn unique usernames and passwords have been amassed by a Russian cybercriminal gang.”

Closing Segment: ISIS and Iraq’s Yazidi Minority

Mohammed Salih, freelance reporter and contributor to Al-Monitor. Traveled to Nineveh province to Iraq to report on the plight of the Yazidis.

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