If you have an account with a company whose servers have been hacked, it’s nerve-wracking to wonder whether or not your private data has been leaked onto the Internet. Thankfully, a new Web service seeks to aggregate all the leaked account data on the Internet and make it easy for you to check and see if you’re on the list.
PwnedList (pwnedlist.com) is a website designed as a public service to help privacy-minded people verify the security of their online accounts. The goal of the website was to design a simple-to-use online portal where an average user could check to see if his or her account credentials were leaked.
The company that runs the website has a team (including security researchers) that have gathered more than a million hacked accounts from websites like The Pirate Bay and PasteBin, social networks like Twitter, and even hacker forums and chatrooms.
The website company at PwnedList are constantly seeking out compromised usernames, email addresses, and passwords, and they don’t store all that information in the PwnedList database. Instead, they take all the compromised account data they find (or that anonymous users submit to them) and use an algorithm to create a unique string of alphanumeric characters for every username and email address. They then save the strings in the PwnedList database before deleting the actual login information. This procedure means that no hacker can crack the PwnedList database and gain access to a single list of the hundreds of thousands of compromised accounts that the PwnedList team is aggregating.
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