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BitDefender Finds Exposed Social Media Credentials Often Provide Access to Email Accounts

August 2010

Study reveals that 75 percent of social networking username and password samples collected online are identical to those used for email accounts

BitDefender®, an award-winning provider of innovative internet security solutions, today warned those using social networking platforms to pay particular attention to how they set and secure their login credentials.

A study, conducted by BitDefender over the course of a week, revealed more than 250,000 email addresses, usernames and passwords can be found easily online, via postings on blogs, collaboration platforms, torrents and other channels.

In a random check of the sample list consisting of email addresses, usernames and passwords, 87 percent of the exposed accounts were still valid and could be accessed with the leaked credentials. Moreover, a substantial number of the randomly verified email accounts revealed that 75 percent of the users rely on the same password to access both their social networking and email accounts.

BitDefender warns of the numerous security implications - from additional personal and sensitive data theft, to email and social networking account hijacking for spamming and malware dissemination purposes, and even more serious and costly e-troubles. BitDefender is advising consumers to be very careful how they choose their passwords and where they choose to share that information.

For additional details about the study please visit

No private information from this study will be kept, disclosed or used against the persons that revealed it. All trademarks or product names contained herewith are registered trademarks of their owner companies