Russian crime ring amasses Internet passwords | Better Business Bureau

A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credential.

  • Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:15pm
  • Business

The New York Times reported this morning that a Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, including 1.2 billion username and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses.

While details are still limited, including which companies have fallen victim or how the hackers conducted the breach, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington urges consumers to protect their online accounts. The Times reports the hackers appear to be using stolen information to send spam on social networking sites like Twitter, and could be selling personal data on the black market.

BBB understands there is not much consumers can do to prevent data breaches from happening, but vigilance will help minimize the risk of falling victim to identity theft.

  • Change passwords. Never use the same password for every online account or website.
  • Monitor credit and bank statements. Go online to verify account information and do not wait for paper statements.
  • Set up alerts. Set up automatic activity alerts on banking and credit card accounts and with the three credit reporting agencies.
  • Report suspicious activity. Immediately report unauthorized charges and place a credit freeze on any compromised accounts.
  • Save receipts. Keep all receipts handy in case charges need to be substantiated.

Also visit, a website run by the Federal Trade Commission, for more tips on avoiding scams and protecting your computer.

Scammers will likely take advantage of this high-profile public data breach to phish for personal information. Over the next few weeks, be extremely wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls from purported financial institutions. Do not click on links, download attachments or provide sensitive information—like Social Security numbers—to unknown parties.

Business owners: Make sure that your customers’ information is being protected. Check out BBB’s free Data Security – Made Simpler guide for businesses at

All Americans are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus; the only official source for these reports is at

Visit for the latest consumer alerts and stay connected with the latest information from BBB on itsSocial Hub.


More in Business

Columbia River treaty talks too vital to ignore | Don Brunell

The United States and China are currently renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty.

Bellevue company patent infringement win gives small investors hope | Don Brunell

Until recently, our courts have been little help to patent owners.

Podiatrist opens Enumclaw practice

Go see Dr. Bock at 853 Watson Street North, Suite 100.

GE’s tumble from grace | Don Brunell

General Electric, once the world’s most valuable company, has been topped by Walgreens.

Vintage items, gifts and more at new Enumclaw shop

Featuring an eclectic mix of merchandise, partners Tori Ammons and Melissa Oglesbee… Continue reading

Jetsons cartoon robots now reality | Don Brunell

In April, the U.S. Labor Dept. reported a record high 844,000 unfilled positions in the hospitality industry — which is one out of eight jobs available today.

New shop a sweet spot in downtown Enumclaw

Cole St. now has a new fudge and bakery shop.

The role models around us

Sometimes, being a good role model is a good business decision, too.

Seattle’s misstep highlights need for new approach

Last week, Seattle’s City Council did an “about face” revoking the onerous… Continue reading

Washington’s expensive culvert court case

Too much money is spent in court where it should go to increasing the salmon population

Straw pulp looks like a game changer

250,000 tons of straw will soon be pulped for paper products.

Bad labels tough to shed

Seattle’s going to have a hard time battling the “anti-business” label.