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Security & privacy

Free TV site leaked millions of user records – check your account now

It’s been three weeks since Pluto TV promised to look into its enormous data leak. Since then, we’ve heard nothing but crickets. The silence is deafening and means you’re not getting any help. You’ve got to protect yourself.

This is critical because your streaming logins can make hackers a big profit. Any of the Dark Web buyers can scoop up your entire digital life for less than $2,000. Tap or click here to see how much your accounts and data can sell for.

Last month’s data breach leaked private information from millions of users. If you’ve used this streaming service, now’s the time to protect your data.

I have a Pluto TV account. Am I at risk?

The group behind this attack was none other than ShinyHunters. It’s a hacking collective that’s sold and shared login information from hundreds of millions of people on Dark Web marketplaces. Of course, it’s raked in tons of money along the way.

Tap or click here to see a ShinyHunters breach that included data from 400 million users.

In November, the collective invaded 3.2 million records from Pluto TV. This free streaming video service had 26.5 million users as of August 2020. According to BleepingComputer, the hackers shared the breached database on a Dark Web forum.

You may think this leak isn’t a huge deal — after all, Pluto TV does not ask for any payment information.

However, leaked account data includes usernames, email addresses, hashed passwords, birthdays and IP addresses. That’s more than enough for enterprising scammers to send off phishing emails or extortion scams without too much effort. Tap or click here to see why you can ignore extortion emails that use bits and pieces of your personal data.

If the breach’s data is genuine, it’s safe to assume that ShinyHunters are telling the truth. Pluto TV users who opened accounts in 2018 and earlier should immediately reset their passwords to prevent their data from falling into the wrong hands.

How can I protect my account?

First, reset your Pluto TV password. Follow these steps to secure your data:

  1. Log in to your Pluto TV account and click on the ACCOUNT icon found in the upper right corner. You may be asked to confirm your username and password.
  2. Click CHANGE PASSWORD or UPDATE EMAIL to update your information. If you are logged in but not seeing these options, click on the account icon again.
  3. Create a strong password that uses a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Tap or click here to see how to create stronger passwords.

Once your password is reset, watch out for any suspicious messages in your email inbox. Although Pluto TV didn’t have payment card data, scammers highly prize email addresses and other personal details. This data type can help them create a detailed profile on you, selling your information as packages for a bigger buck.

Here are some ways to avoid falling victim to phishing attempts:

  • Avoid opening emails from senders you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t click any external links in emails you receive. The same goes for email attachments. If you get an email from someone you know with either of these, confirm that they sent the message before clicking the link or downloading any files.
  • If you get an email with threatening language or pieces of your personal data, do not pay or respond. That only lets the scammers know that you’ll answer.

No matter how hard we try to protect our data, we can only control a small portion of our information. Private details kept by service providers is out of our reach, and if one of them happens to fall, our data can easily be abused.

Here’s another preventative measure: Keep track of all your streaming accounts. Since this is highly-prized information on the Dark Web, it’s important to make sure people aren’t already breaching your account. Tap or click here to find out if anyone’s using your streaming accounts without permission.

Here’s what to do moving forward

Keep your eyes peeled and use your best judgment. It’s the best way to protect your data — especially because compromised websites often won’t tell you if they’ve had a security breach. Unfortunately, sites like Pluto TV will often promise to look into data breaches…only to let a whole month pass by in silence.

Sadly, you can’t always trust a website to have your best interests in mind. Often times, a company will prioritize its reputation over your safety.

Bottom line: You’ve got to keep your eyes peeled and stay proactive. You’ll do more for your data than any online platform or security service. Tap or click here to see if your email address has been part of a data breach.

You can also check out our podcast on the world’s largest database of stolen logins. Kim sat down with the site’s creator, Troy Hunt, and chatted about the biggest security risks you face. You’ll get the best tips and tricks on how to stay safe — no matter what breach you may be involved in.

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