Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure Corp., has a sobering blog posting this morning about an unknown group that publicly posted information about tens of thousands of user accounts.
Mikko writes: “A 4.5MB text file was uploaded to a Finnish website earlier today. The file contains usernames, e-mail addresses, passwords and uncracked password hashes of almost 79,000 user accounts. These accounts are mostly from different Finnish web forums. It’s quite trivial to find the correct password based on the password hash, assuming the password is “easy” and can be found from a password dictionary. The passlist.txt file claims that the hack was done by two Swedish hackers but this has already been disputed.”
He says this resembles an earlier incident six weeks ago in which Swedish hacker Dan Egerstad published hundred passwords to different embassies and government organisations. However, Mikko notes, in that case Egerstad stole the information by running rogue TOR exit node servers.
“In today’s case,” he writes, “the information has been stolen by unknown parties – most likely by hacking the servers of several Finnish Web forums. That’s pretty much the only way to gain access to the password hashes.”