1,800 Minecraft usernames and passwords appeared on the Internet today. The account information appeared on PasteBin, a site where coders can easily post and share code.
These usernames and passwords aren't just throwaway accounts. They're every Minecraft player's key to their game.
My son is an avid Minecrafter and received his username and password after buying the game for about $27. He has to enter his information every time he logs in to Minecraft, and he'd have to buy the whole thing again if someone was to steal his account.
Those accounts posted on PasteBin could mean that 1,800 Minecraft players just lost access to their favorite game.
The combined value of all of these Minecraft accounts comes out to about $48,600. I don't think that the hackers were trying to sell them, though.
A Sophos cybersecurity researcher agrees with me. He searched for a username/password combination that he found on the publicly available list.
Then he traced the search results' digital trail. Here's what he came up with:
The pair's earliest appearance is on a Portuguese forum entry dated 10 July 2014 - six months before they enjoyed a bit part in today's news. They go on to appear on more gaming forums in the following months - first on a Lithuanian language forum on 30 August 2014 and then on English language forums in October and November.
Hackers like to collect data. What this data might suggest is that the 1,800 Minecraft accounts are one hacker's collection of stolen Minecraft accounts.
The takeaway is this: Hackers love to flex their muscles. If your identity hasn't been stolen yet, that might just be because your personal information is sitting on a hacker's hard drive.