Client Protection Resources
Scam & Fraud Alerts
August 8, 2014
Russian Password Hack: What You Should Know
A U.S. security firm has uncovered what appears to be the largest Internet security breach in recent memory, conducted by a group of Russia-based hackers. The firm conducted an 18-month investigation into the breach, revealing the online gang stole 1.2 billion username and password combos, as well as more than 500 million email addresses.
The hackers ultimately scooped upwards of 4.5 billion records, using computers with viruses that allowed a single operator to control a large group of affected systems and test websites for particular vulnerabilities. When such a vulnerability was discovered, the hackers were then able to send malicious commands to a website and steal its data, including usernames and passwords.
The group managed to steal information from 420,000 web and FTP sites.
Was My Prime Meridian Online Banking Password Breached?
No. We have received confirmation our website was not among those breached. However, if you use the same email and password combinations for your banking logins then you will want to address that vulnerability and change all passwords. Experts recommend that all passwords – for each different site you belong to – should be unique.
Passwords: Change Them All, Change Them Now
There's no shortage of articles on strong password tips, but what was once considered strategic and clever -- such as using symbols, capitalizations and numbers like 3 in place of the letter "e" -- are old tricks. So here's what you need to know now:
- Use a different password for each account you use -- you wouldn't use the same key in all of your locks. The same goes for passwords.
- Experts say only those who use random unique passwords on every site have reduced their risk from this latest breach. If you re-use passwords you are critically exposed.
- Security firm McAfee suggests avoiding password words that include personal information, like your birthday, pet's name or a favorite color because they're easy for hackers to guess. Passwords should also be long -- at least 14 characters -- and when you use common replacements (like symbols and letters), make sure they're not tacked on at the end; scatter them throughout.
- Some password management apps (ie: KeeperSecurity.com) offer a quick and easy password generator.
Still have questions?
If you have questions, please feel free to contact your Prime Meridian Bank representative directly or call 850-907-2300. Read more at OnGuardOnline.gov.