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Google knows if your passwords were hacked

Google is attempting to make Chrome users more secure with the release of a new extension that automatically checks to see if the passwords you are using are safe. It’s called Password Checkup and it launched today.

It doesn’t matter how strong a password is, if the account your are protecting suffers a data breach it could end up in the hands of hackers. Keeping track of which data breaches affect you is difficult, and it’s why password managers started getting popular and offering to automatically update passwords for you on a regular basis. A good example of that is LastPass.

Now Google is making Chrome users more secure if they take the time to install a new, free extension called Password Checkup. Once installed, it will check every time you sign in to an account using a username and password. If the password used appears on any data breach lists the user will receive an alert urging them to reset the password. If the same password is used for other accounts then an alert will be sent for those, too.

Google is making it very clear that using Password Checkup does not share any identifying information about users, their accounts, passwords, or devices. The only information shared is anonymous and regarding the number of lookups that return an unsafe set of credentials. In other words, there’s no real downside to installing the extension and helping protect your online accounts.

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This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

Hacked Nest security cameras watch Illinois family, hurl obscenities, as company blames ‘compromised passwords’

A family in Illinois was horrified when the Nest security system they’d purchased to give them peace of mind was taken over by a hacker — the latest example of what the tech company has called a “third-party hack.”

Arjun Sud was outside of his son’s room on Sunday when he heard a man’s voice talking to his 7-month-old via the security system’s speaker, according to CBS.

“I was shocked to hear a deep, manly voice talking to my 7-month-old son,” Sud told CBS. “My blood ran cold.”

The hidden intruder was reportedly taunting Sud and his family, uttering obscenities that included the N-word. The family also believes the hacker jacked up their thermostat to 90 degrees.

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Sud’s wife called the incident “terrifying.”

The family, which has been using Nest for years, eventually unplugged all the cameras and called the police. They also called Nest.

“And then they said, ‘Well, you should have used a unique password and two-factor authentication, and if you did, you know, that would be that,'” Sud said.

Sud now questions Nest’s security.

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“When I called Nest and I said, ‘How long has this been going on for? How long has someone kind of been watching us?’ ‘We don’t know. We can’t tell you. We don’t have the logs,’” Sud told CBS.

In January, a California family was warned of an impending missile attack from North Korea after their Nest home security system was taken over by hackers.

A spokesperson for Google, the parent company of Nest, previously sent Fox News the following statement:

“These recent reports are based on customers using compromised passwords (exposed through breaches on other websites). In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of security risk.”

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The Google spokesperson continued: “We take security in the home extremely seriously, and we’re actively introducing features that will reject compromised passwords, allow customers to monitor access to their accounts and track external entities that abuse credentials.”

$190 million gone forever? Crypto boss dies with passwords needed to unlock customer accounts

Customers of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange are reportedly unable to access $ 190 million of funds after the company’s founder died with the passwords needed to access the money.

Gerald Cotten, the 30-year-old founder of QuadrigaCX, died due to complications with Crohn’s disease, according to Sky News, citing Cotten’s wife, Jennifer Robertson. The executive reportedly passed away in December while traveling in India to open an orphanage.

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Citing a sworn affidavit by Robertson as she filed for credit protection, Sky News reports that Cotten held “sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins.”

About $ 190 million in cryptocurrency and traditional money is said to be in “cold storage,” with the digital key held by Cotten. While Robertson has Cotten’s laptop, she does not know its password and even a security expert has been unable to get past the device’s encryption.

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Some QuadrigaCX customers have taken to social media to voice their frustration over the deadlock.

In a statement posted on its website on Jan. 31, QuadrigaCX said that it applied for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court “to allow us the opportunity to address the significant financial issues that have affected our ability to serve our customers.”

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us,” the company added, in its statement. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful.”

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Fox News has reached out to QuadrigaCX with a request for comment on this story.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers