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Petrovic

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User names and e-mail addresses of 20 million visitors to a Russian-based dating site have been hacked and offered for sale on a website, according to Daniel Ingevaldson, chief technology officer of fraud-detection software-maker Easy Solutions Inc.

Topface didn’t respond to a request for comment via its press website. Ingevaldson said it is no longer clear that users’ passwords were also taken, as he originally told Bloomberg.

Hackers can use the credentials to try to access bank accounts, health records or other more sensitive data, said Ingevaldson in a telephone interview. Ingevaldson issued a statement about the breach after seeing a posting by the thief, who used the alias ‘Mastermind,’ on an online forum used by cybercriminals.

Fifty percent of the credentials were for people based in Russia, and 40 percent came from the European Union. All told, the 20 million people used e-mail addresses with 345,000 different domain names. Seven million of the people that logged in to the St. Petersburg-based dating site used Hotmail.com, 2.5 million used Yahoo.com, and 2.3 million used Gmail.com.

“These aren’t credit cards, but this is a tier-one breach,” said Ingevaldson. “These credentials are like the iron ore of the cybercrime industry.”

He said such personal information usually sells quickly, to fraudsters who use automated software programs to find sites where people used the same information they did to access the dating site.
 
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