The FBI has managed to link the theft of a frankly staggering 1.2 billion log-in credentials to a single hacker, after finding a Russian email address within reams of data obtained by security researchers.

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Reuters reports that documents made public by a federal court in Milwaukee reveal how the FBI has identified the email address of the hacker in question by his online alias, “mr.grey.” The hacker’s email address was found buried within the spam utilities that were used to bombard compromised email accounts.

Back in August 2014, Milwaukee-based security research firm Hold Security revealed that a Russian hacking ring had gathered over 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and over 500 million email addresses from more than 420,000 websites.

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The s0-called Mr.Grey seems to have advertised his wares online, claiming on forums to have access to large pools of user data acquired from Facebook, Twitter and Russian-based social network VK.

It’s currently unclear if the FBI has managed to use the information to identify the whereabouts of the hacker.

[Reuters]

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Image by Brian Klug under Creative Commons license