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Tool Calculates Potential Value of E-Mail to Hackers

A new research tool scans a user’s Gmail account to calculate the potential benefit hackers could realize by exploiting the account and then stealing and selling valuable personal information. The Cloudsweeper tool, created by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, uses the Open Authentication protocol that allows the tool to connect to a Gmail account and search through messages. It then provides a list of the number of retail accounts connected to that address, which include sites such as Amazon or Groupon, that attackers could seize should they gain access. The tool then consults its database and calculates the account’s value based on their current black-market resale price to hackers who want to use the data to steal money or for other illegal purposes. (SlashDot)(Krebs on Security)(Cloudsweeper)

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