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

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 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 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.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Yahooonline safetygawkersecurityAdobe Systemsdata breachStratforsonyprivacy

More about Adobe SystemsAdobe SystemsSonyYahoo

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Lucian Constantin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place