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‘Pony’ Malware Forwards 2 Million Passwords to Central Server in the Netherlands
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Suddenly, it’s not just about fake messages being posted to your social media accounts. It’s about your hard-earned money.

Almost 2 million accounts on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and other social media and Internet sites have been breached. The hacking which began October 21 and might still be taking place, according to CNN, affected 100 countries. The majority of passwords were from the Netherlands, followed by Thailand, Germany, Singapore, Indonesia and the United States.

  
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According to The New York Post, representatives for Facebook and Twitter said the companies have reset the passwords of affected users. Hot Hardware reports that Facebook had a staggering 318,000 accounts compromised.

The hackers used keylogging software that was surreptitiously installed on an unknown number of computers around the world, the data analysts with the cyber security company Trustwave, John Miller, found and CNN reported. The computer virus has been capturing account sign-in information for at least a month now, and sending along that data — usernames and passwords — to a server that’s under the control of the hackers. The malware program Pony forwarded the vast majority of the passwords to a central server in the Netherlands.

Fox News suggests some ways to help you secure your account and to minimize further threats. The top thing mentioned being is that you should change your passwords regularly. Many breaches can occur because passwords are too easy to guess. It’s possible that your account information is already circulating. Many services offer a second level of authentication when you’re accessing them from a computer or from a device for the first time. According to Yahoo News, cyber security firm Trustwave reported that in analysis, they found that the top two passwords among those accessed are 123456 and 123456789. They also suggest to make sure that your computer is running the newest software, because the older versions can have flaws that hackers have been known to exploit. Be careful when clicking on email attachments and pop ups, as they may contain malicious software for stealing passwords. Finally, use firewalls and other security programs, many of which are available for free.

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