For our easiness, we have habit of using same user name and password for multiple sites which may include some of the important and critical sites.
After 1.4 million accounts of Gawker's got exposed and is out for public, several unrelated companies had to freeze their accounts and force users to reset passwords.
Since the usernames and passwords obtained there could unlock other valuable accounts like e-mail and Net-banking.
Twitter, Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., among others, began resetting their passwords en masse, disrupting users as they tried to check their e-mail or post a tweet.
"It shows one of the fundamental problems with passwords - they get reused and shared across multiple sites," said Jeff Burstein, a senior product manager with the Symantec Corp. security firm.
Because the accounts were freely available, other sites were able to score the data and look for matches with their users.
Twitter acknowledged resetting some passwords for its 175 million users after hackers used the Gawker data to break into Twitter accounts and spamming with it. Yahoo and Google, also reset some passwords. Google described it as a "small subset" of its users.Job-networking service LinkedIn also changed a small number of its 85 million users' passwords.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it didn't have to change any passwords because the bank has "multiple layers of security."
- AP Inputs