Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from the Switch team.

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Home Depot hackers exposed 53 million e-mail addresses "Home Depot Inc. said hackers got into its systems last April by stealing a password from a vendor, opening a tiny hole that grew into the biggest retail-credit-card breach on record," reports the Wall Street Journal's Shelly Banjo. "On Thursday, the company announced the breach was worse than earlier thought. In addition to the 56 million credit card accounts that were compromised, Home Depot now says around 53 million customer e-mail addresses were stolen as well."

Federal sites leaked the locations of people seeking AIDS services for years "Two federal government Web sites that help people find AIDS-related medical services have begun routinely encrypting user data after years in which they let sensitive information -- including the real-world locations of site visitors – onto the Internet unprotected," reports The Washington Post's Craig Timberg.

Feds seize Silk Road 2 in major dark Web drug bust A year after the Silk Road 2 came online promising to revive the Dark Web drug trade following its predecessor’s seizure by the FBI, the sequel has suffered the same fate," reports Wired's Andy Greenberg. "On Thursday, international law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and Europol took down the Silk Road 2 and arrested its alleged operator 26-year-old Blake Benthall in San Francisco."

Inside the world of professional e-mail account hijackers "Hackers use two primary approaches to take over e-mail accounts: automated and manual. Automated attacks involve huge networks of computers called botnets that systematically attempt to log in to a large number of accounts. In manual attacks, a person breaks into individual e-mail accounts and combs their content for potentially valuable information," reports The Washington Post's Andrea Peterson. "A new report from Google suggests that the perpetrators of manual account hijacking often approach this type of digital invasion as a job."

Verizon contacted me on Twitter and asked for my billing password Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin reports: "On Verizon Wireless’ Web site, the company advises customers to '[n]ever give your passwords to anyone over the phone, include them in e-mail messages, [or] give them to anyone.' This is good security advice that experts would agree with. Yet Verizon itself is seeking out customers on Twitter and asking for their billing passwords over the social network’s direct messages platform."