Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

New website lets users check if their online credentials were exposed in large data leaks

The site combines email addresses corresponding to accounts exposed in data breaches at Adobe, Yahoo, Stratfor, Gawker and Sony

Article comments

A new website allows Internet users to check if their usernames and passwords were exposed in some of the largest data breaches in recent years.

The site is called haveibeenpwned.com and was created by Australian software architect Troy Hunt. It allows users to check if their email addresses are present in user databases leaked from Adobe Systems this year, Yahoo in 2012, Sony and Stratfor in 2011 and Gawker in 2010.

The Adobe data breach came to light in October and is considered to be the largest, publicly known, leak of user information in history. Over 153 million user records, including email addresses and poorly encrypted passwords, were exposed as a result of the incident.

Several security researchers created websites that allow users to check if they've been affected by the Adobe breach, but Hunt wanted a website that maps email addresses across multiple data breaches. This kind of correlation is important because a large number of people reuse their email addresses and passwords on multiple websites.

In 2012 Hunt compared the user records leaked from Sony and Yahoo and found that 59 percent of people with accounts in both databases used the same password.

The haveibeenpwned.com website does not store any of the leaked passwords, only the email addresses.

"I just don't need them [the passwords] and frankly, I don't want the responsibility either," Hunt said in a blog post. "This is all about raising awareness of the breadth of breaches."

Importing the data into the website was no easy task, with the Adobe database containing over 152 million records, Stratfor almost 860,000, Gawker over 530,000, Yahoo 453,000 and Sony 37,000. Hunt published a separate blog post about the technical aspects of working with the large dataset.

Combining the data into a single database also revealed some interesting statistics. "When I added the Stratfor breach to the existing Adobe records, 16% of the email addresses were already in the system," he said. "I moved onto Sony and 17% of them were already there. Yahoo! was 22%."

"Whilst not the chronological order in which the breaches occurred, what this demonstrated is that subsequent data sets showed a high correlation between new breach data and existing records in the system and that's the very reason why I created this site," Hunt said.

Hunt plans to keep adding data into the system from future data breaches and asked everyone aware of leaked user databases that are publicly available and haven't yet been included in the project to let him know. "No, don't go and breach a system in order to contribute to this project!" he said.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *