Up to 3.3 Dutch million email addresses and passwords are circulating online and have now been made available by a hacker, the AD reported on Friday.
The paper had access to the database which contained 1.4 billion email addresses and passwords from around the world and found information about staff at various (government) organisations. MPs and radio and tv personalities are also included.
The origin of the breach are likely to be the dozens of big data leaks over the past few years, which included the websites of Uber, LinkedIn, Dropbox and eBay.
According to the AD, the lists, which used to be difficult to find and expensive to access, are now easily available.
‘Many people reuse passwords and are registered at so many website that they lose count,’ systems and network security professor Herbert Bos told the paper. ‘Even if you vary the numbers in your passwords a bit hackers can still identify it by using automated programmes. And once they have you email and your password your identity is theirs.’
Former SP MP Sharon Gesthuizen’s parliamentary email address also on the list, including a password that gave access to ‘an important service’, she told the AD. She has since changed her password.
Many people register on websites using their business addresses but the passwords that go with them are not necessarily the one they use to log in to their work systems.
But the fact that the email addresses of, for instance, the public prosecution office, various ministries and Borssele nuclear power station, are circulating freely is making these institutions more vulnerable, the AD said.
Check if your password has been leaked on haveibeenpwned.com
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.