The private login information belonging to tens of millions of people was compromised after malware infiltrated over 3.2 million Windows-based computers over a two-year period.
According to a report from cybersecurity provider NordLocker, a custom malware infiltrated Trojan-type computers between 2018 and 2020 and stole 1.2 terabytes (TB) of personal information.
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As a result, hackers were able to obtain nearly 26 million credentials, including email, usernames and passwords from nearly a million websites, according to Nordlocker̵
The targeted sites include big names like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Dropbox and LinkedIn.
Malware was transmitted via email and “illegal software” that included a pirated version of “Adobe Photoshop 2018, a Windows cracking tool, and several cracked games,” according to the report.
To steal personal information, malware was allegedly able to take screenshots of a person’s information and photograph “the user if the device had a webcam.”
Among the stolen database were 2 billion browser cookies and 6.6 million files, including 1 million images and more than 650,000 Word and PDF files.
“Cookies help hackers create an accurate picture of the habits and interests of their target,” the report said. “In some cases, cookies can even provide access to the person’s electronic accounts.”
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The bulk of the stolen database was “3 million text files, 900.00 image files and 600,000+ Word files.”
What was most worrying, according to Nordlocker, was that “some people even use Notepad to keep passwords, personal notes and other sensitive information,” according to the report.