Until something big happens, we often take things lightly. We know our passwords need to be strong, so we made them strong and think we are safe with the different websites we use in our daily life. But then, hackers or cyber criminals come up with methods to exploit vulnerabilities in the systems of these websites, hack your login information and either misuse it or post it openly for others to see it. This article checks out some sites that can help you know if your information was hacked or pwned or compromised.
Have I been Hacked or Pwned
Every now and then you here report that some email service providers, some social accounts or som other online accounts have been hacked and passwords leaked. Here are a few trustworthy links where you can check if your account was hacked or compromised.
HaveIBeenPwned.com is the first place to check if your login information is stolen when you hear any news about some website being compromised. It lets you check several account breaches including Gawker, Forbes, Mail.ru, Yandex, BitCoin, etc. The site is run by Troy Hunt as a passion and as a social cause. He updates the website frequently with lists made public and the Usernames and Email IDs stolen by cybercriminals, who claim to have compromised a website. Mostly, the data comes from pastebin.com which is the favorite site of hackers, to paste the information they stole. In other cases, Hunt collects it from other places and updates his website so that you can check out if your login credentials were stolen. A difficult task for Hunt, but his passion makes it easier.
You may doubt and ask – is it an email harvesting site? But so far, no complaints have been made by anyone, so you may assume that the service is indeed genuine. The site does offer to store the email if you opt to be notified of any breaches. But I do not think personally that they will use your email for any purpose other than auto-notifying you.
Another website run by a bunch of enthusiasts is Pwnedlist.com. With over 366,967,703 entries, the website tells you if your email was ever pawned by hackers in the recent past or present. The email IDs you enter into the search system are stored. This is stated on their FAQ page. But, they say, that this information is stored only for two purposes. The first is to crawl the web to see matching email IDs for breaches. And the second is to notify you of the breach if your login credentials are found breached by any hacker who opted to post anywhere on the Internet.
The company says that they also get inputs from third parties whose job is to find breaches. As a result, they have a huge database as they are thus in a position to tell you if you were pwned at any point in time.
LastPass is an online password storage provider and password generator as well. Most of these passwords are unmemorizable and are hence, unbreakable (or almost unbreakable). LastPass also lets you know if your login credentials were hacked. The process is simple with Lastpass, as it is with the above-mentioned websites. Just append the name of service or website to http://lastpass.com. You can check for breaches in Gmail, LinkedIn, LastFM, Adobe, eHarmony, etc.
For example, to find Gmail breaches, it would be http://lastpass.com/gmail. Once you are there, you will be given a text box to enter your email ID. Upon entering your email ID, it searches the database and lets you know if it was ever breached recently. Likewise, you can check for other services at https://lastpass.com/linkedin, https://lastpass.com/lastfm, https://lastpass.com/adobe, https://lastpass.com/eharmony and so on.
The Hasso-Plattner-Institute runs an email checker that checks if your email was in any of the leaked data. Everyday personal data is stolen in criminal cyber-attacks. A large part of the stolen information is subsequently made public on Internet databases, where it serves as the starting point for other illegal activities. With the HPI Identity Leak Checker, it is possible to check whether your e-mail address, along with other personal data (e.g. telephone number, date of birth or address), has been made public on the Internet where it can be misused for malicious purposes.
Other sites that tell you if you have been hacked
Pwn is a hacker’s term to mean ‘compromise’. Just like they use “tango down” to refer to a hacked and mal-faced website, they use ‘pwn‘ to refer to a compromised website. Anyway, since we are more interested in knowing if our login credentials are safe, here is a list of more websites that tell you if you were breached – and for which service:
- lookup.gibsonsec.org : SnapChat, etc.
- securityalert.knowem.com : Gmail, etc.
- isleaked.com : Supports Dropbox too (UPDATE: Discontinued).
- breachalarm.com : This site tells you if you need to change your email password. You can register for an Email Watchdog account to be notified immediately if they spot any of your email addresses in future breaches.
These services may be oriented towards one or more of the email services and as such, may not be complete lists. But you can use them to reconfirm your doubts.
What to do when you have been Hacked
The first thing is to check if you still have access to the account. If yes, go ahead and change the password. Not only that, change the password for all other sites where you have been using the email address for login even if there are no reports of the websites being breached. That will add to your security.
Here is a list of articles we created on what to do when login credentials are compromised or when you are hacked:
If you have any additional inputs, please share it with us.