An Australian website allows internet users to test out passwords before using them to see if they were leaked in one of the many data breaches in recent years.
By entering a password into haveibeenpwned.com (HIBP) you can see if it is on a database of 306 million that have previously been leaked.
The aim of the website is to help those creating new passwords to improve their online security and reduce the risk of their accounts being compromised.
If a user’s login information is flagged up on HIBP, a list is provided of the sites on which the breach or breaches occurred and when.
What is being ‘pwned’?
Derived from the verb ‘own’, the term implies domination or humiliation of a rival and is often used in Internet-based video game circles.
In this case, a “pwned” password is one accessed by a hacker who illegally obtained the data from a vulnerable system.
Why was the website created?
The site was created by Troy Hunt, a Microsoft Regional Director, after the Adobe breach in 2013 which saw 150 million people affected by a loss of customer data.
“Data breaches are rampant and many people don’t appreciate the scale or frequency with which they occur,” he said.