A gang of hackers in Russia has amassed 1.2 billion sets of looted user names and passwords, according to a U.S. security company that said it's the largest known cache of stolen personal information.

The pilfered records, associated with about 500 million unique e-mail addresses, were discovered by Hold Security LLC, a Milwaukee-based company that sells information-security and risk-management services. The findings were based on seven months of research, though the company didn't give a time period for the theft or name any websites that were hacked.

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