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A cyber security researcher says reusing passwords is like creating a skeleton key hackers can use to hijack accounts through a process known as credential stuffing.

Key points:

  • Using the same password for multiple accounts online can expose people to hacking
  • Troy Hunt says secure password managers are the best way to prevent an attack of this nature
  • Most people’s online footprint is so large it can be hard to identify where passwords have been leaked

The form of online fraud resulted in a Byron Bay woman being ordered to pay more than a million dollars in damages to Adidas and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in America after her PayPal account was hacked.

Sarah Luke said the hackers took control of her account, in December.

Credential stuffing involves hackers accessing an account by using automation to try out username and password pairs sourced from data leaks on various websites.

Troy Hunt is a cyber security expert and creator of website Have I Been Pwned, which collects information on data breaches and helps people establish if they’ve been caught up in them.

He said most people’s digital footprint was so large it was hard to identify where data breaches originated.

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