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Russian Password Theft Could Threaten Merchants

Aug 11, 2014
Posted by: Marketing
Category: General
A huge Russian password theft operation allegedly obtained billions of usernames and passwords from around the world.

Cybercrime is a problem. With millions of credit card numbers stolen online every year, online scam rings circling around the US and Europe, and hackers who commit complex data breaches, financial security is more important than ever. Recently, a huge Russian password theft operation allegedly obtained billions of usernames and passwords from around the world. This most recent global cybercrime case could threaten merchants.

About the Password Theft

Security researchers claim that a Russian cybercrime organization has amassed around 1.2 billion username and password combinations. According to the New York Times, a Milwaukee, USA-based security firm detected the password theft which apparently targeted “any website (the hackers) could get.” Websites of businesses both small and large were targeted, leaving no business safe.

How Will the Password Theft Affect Merchants?

Experts speculate that it was mainly consumer usernames and passwords that were stolen. However, this will make many consumers think twice about websites they create accounts and use personal information on. Merchants need to secure their websites now more than ever to protect consumer data and reassure customers. Make sure that your payment pages are PCI compliant and 100% secure against fraud. If you haven't already, install SSL certificates on your website for added assurance. Consumers will look for the “https://” in their address bar when shopping online. Additionally, since you are a consumer too, go through and change your usernames and passwords to ensure your information is secure.

How to Stop Cybercrime

As long as there is an internet, cybercrime will exist in some form. However, there are steps that merchants and consumers can take to prevent password theft before it happens. Consumers need to more closely monitor where they are storing their information and make sure they are not being subjected to crimes like credit card fraud. In turn, merchants and web administrators need to secure their websites and perform preventative measures to fight against cybercrime. If you have any notion that a cybercrime is being committed against you, report it to the authorities immediately.

About the Author

Dylan Freni is a copywriter at Instabill. He writes articles for the company’s nine websites, including three articles per week for the Instabill blog. Frequent topics include merchant services, payments industry news, e-commerce tips and merchant account how-to’s.

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