If you haven’t updated your Dropbox password, it’s probably a good idea to do it now.
Dropbox is sending emails to nearly all of its customers, asking them to reset their passwords after it was revealed that more than 50 million hacked Dropbox credentials were circulated on the Internet. According to Motherboard, this password leak is linked to the Dropbox breach that happened almost four years ago – even though the news at that time stated that only the email addresses were stolen.
If you are concerned, and want to know if you were a victim or not, then visit the link here, enter your email address and wait for the results. The website Have I Been Pwned, runs your email across various databases from many respected security companies, nationwide. The website is maintained by the developer, Troy Hunter, who is also the website security specialist and an MVP at Microsoft. Hunter is also the person to have performed the analysis on Dropbox passwords and confirmed their authenticity.
However, the stolen usernames and passwords that are lurking around the Internet are ‘hashed’, meaning they’re protected via encryption, and can only be cracked using the right tools. In short, those hashed passwords are useless and can’t be used for logins. However, if you update your passwords, these hashed passwords (which are crackable) will become useless.
Hashing data or passwords is the numerical function that allows characters, such as separate words, to be turned into a series of jumbled characters and numbers. So, a small set of letters, such as your password, can result in a big jumbled string of a words consisting many numbers and alphabets. It is only a one-way process – much like adding sugar to your coffee or tea – it can’t be undone.
For security researchers or hackers, free tools available online can be used to un-hashg or match the hashed terms from the hashed passwords, which ultimately will be used to unencrypt the passwords used to access the Dropbox. Since the email addresses were also provided, the hacker can easily mix and match them for entering the Dropbox; with one such case being the LinkedIn hack.
However, let’s suppose the hacker got lucky and accessed those credentials; those users who have the two-way authentication switch on, will offer yet another hurdle for the hacker to struggle with. Even though setting all of those security settings in an account can be problematic and time consuming, the rewards can sometimes save your online lives, making it worthwhile.
Source: The Telegraph
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