- Google Chrome will now warn people if their passwords have been stolen as soon as they type them in.
- The new feature works by checking people’s passwords against a database of compromised login credentials from past hacks and data breaches.
- Hackers already operate sophisticated networks for sharing stolen passwords on the dark web.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
People using Google Chrome may encounter a new warning the next time they enter a password: The browser will now alert them if the password they typed in has previously been stolen in a data breach.
The new feature, announced by Google on Tuesday, is meant to protect more people against hackers who aggregate stolen passwords and use them to maliciously access people’s accounts.
Google is quick to assure people that it isn’t compiling its own list of users’ login credentials. In a blog post, the Chrome engineers behind the feature explain that Google uses hashed and encrypted copies of passwords, and checks those against passwords people type in using an encrypted key.
If people receive a notification that their password has been stolen, they’re encouraged to change it immediately.
More than 4 billion records have been stolen by hackers over the past decade alone, and data breaches are becoming increasingly common. According to cybersecurity experts, hackers maintain networks on the dark web specifically for sharing stolen passwords.
“Within the hacking underground community, credentials are bought, sold, and traded for free like Pokémon cards,” Alex Heid, chief research officer of SecurityScorecard, said in an October interview with Business Insider. “There are dozens of different hacking forums that have terabytes of information going back 10-plus years.”
Read more about how Chrome’s new feature works here.
SEE ALSO: A cybersecurity expert describes the underground hacker network where stolen usernames and passwords are ‘traded like Pokémon cards’
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