Story image

There are 320 million breached passwords available online right now

18 Sep 17

Right now there are more than 320 million compromised passwords, and they’re all available online.

According to Troy Hunt, the mastermind between email breach checking site haveibeenpwned.com, released a service that allows users to check if any of their passwords have been stolen.

Hunt launched the site, haveibeenpwned.com/passwords last month, which compiles passwords lists from legitimate breach sources, all with verified accuracy.

Unsurprisingly, passwords such as 123456 have appeared in previous data breaches, along with Mypassword, P@ssw0rd, letmein and millions of others.

‘Oh no – pwned! This password has previously appeared in a data breach ad should never be used. If you’ve ever used it anywhere before, change it immediately!” a warning on the site says.

In a blog, Hunt says the purpose of the site is to show people that passwords they have used in the past may have been breached, and if they still use that password, to change it immediately.

Hunt warns that users shouldn’t enter any password they currently use into any third party website.

“The point of the web-based service is so that people who have been guilty of using sloppy passwords have a means of independent verification that it's not one they should be using any more. Mind you, someone could actually have an exceptionally good password but if the website stored it in plain text then leaked it, that password has still been burned”, he says in the blog.

Hunt has also made the entire database of emails passwords available for download to the public – a ZIP file that, when compressed, tops 5.3GB of data.

Hunt specifies that while password reuse is common, it is also risky and users are not aware how serious it could be.

Credential stuffing can find reused passwords and then automate login attempts against previously discovered emails and passwords. This means it’s more likely for attackers to gain access to more than one account that used a particular username and password.

Hunt also designed the password checker to reach SHAI hashes of particular passwords.

He warns that just because a password doesn’t come up in search results, it does not necessarily mean that password was not used in a breach.

When people are thinking about registering for a new website, Hunt says that they should run their potential passwords through the password checker. That password may seem strong, but it has been used elsewhere and should be considered as useless.

Hunt suggests that organisations can take not only the website but its data to educate staff.

“When someone gets a 'hit' on a Pwned Password, help them understand the broader risk profile and what this means to their personal security,” Hunt says.

Oracle Java Card update boosts security for IoT devices
"Java Card 3.1 is very significant to the Internet of Things, bringing interoperability, security and flexibility to a fast-growing market currently lacking high-security and flexible edge security solutions."
Sophos hires ex-McAfee SVP Gavin Struther
After 16 years as the APAC senior vice president and president for McAfee, Struthers is now heading the APJ arm of Sophos.
Security platform provider Deep Instinct expands local presence
The company has made two A/NZ specific leadership hires and formed several partnerships with organisations in the region.
Half of companies unable to detect IoT device breaches
A Gemalto study also shows that the of blockchain technology to help secure IoT data, services and devices has doubled in a year.
Stepping up to sell security services in A/NZ
WatchGuard Technologies A/NZ regional director gives his top tips on how to make a move into the increasingly lucrative cybersecurity services market.
Huawei founder publically denies spying allegations
“After all the evidence is made public, we will rely on the justice system.”
Malware downloader on the rise in Check Point’s latest Threat Index
Organisations continue to be targeted by cryptominers, despite an overall drop in value across all cryptocurrencies in 2018.
IoT breaches: Nearly half of businesses still can’t detect them
The Internet of Thing’s (IoT’s) rapid rise to prominence may have compromised its security, if a new report from Gemalto is anything to go by.