Nicole Perlroth and David Gelles at the New York Times write:

A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, including 1.2 billion username and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses, security researchers say.

The records, discovered by Hold Security, a firm in Milwaukee, include confidential material gathered from 420,000 websites, ranging from household names to small Internet sites.

The Russians are reportedly using the information to create social media spam at the moment.