News of site hacks and stolen passwords is becoming almost routine, barely a week goes by when we don’t hear of yet another break in. With major players such as Yahoo, Sony, Adobe, Facebook, and Google involved, it is definitely a concern.
Fortunately, many hackers appear to enjoy publicizing their feats, often publishing details of hacked databases and stolen passwords. Why fortunate? Because an Aussie software architect and Microsoft MVP has taken advantage of these hackers’ predilection for gloating to assemble all this available data into a single searchable database.
Now that I have a platform on which to build I’ll be able to rapidly integrate future breaches and make them quickly searchable by people who may have been impacted. It’s a bit of an unfair game at the moment – attackers and others wishing to use data breaches for malicious purposes can very quickly obtain and analyse the data but your average consumer has no feasible way of pulling gigabytes of gzipped accounts from a torrent and discovering whether they’ve been compromised or not.
To check and see if your details appear on any of those lists, just head on over to the Have I been pwned website and type in your email address. If that email address is included in the database of assembled lists you will be warned immediately and the account name identified.
If it happens that your details have indeed been compromised you’ll need to take remedial action, depending on whether you used a unique password or not. If you did use a unique password, logon to the affected account and change your password as soon as possible. If not, and you have used the same password on multiple sites, you’ll need to change the password on all those sites as well.
You’ve heard it before but it’s worth re-iterating; you can alleviate much of the risk involved with these database hacking attacks by utilizing a different/unique password for each and every online account. If you’ve already utilized the same password for multiple accounts, we strongly suggest you remedy that situation asap.