Have I Been Pwned

A 103-post collection

Pwned Passwords in Practice: Real World Examples of Blocking the Worst Passwords

Back in August, I pushed out a service as part of Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) to help organisations block bad passwords from their online things. I called it "Pwned Passwords" and released 320M of them from real-world data breaches via both a downloadable file and an online service. This was in response to NIST's Digital Identity Guidelines and in particular, the following recommendation: When processing requests to establish and change memorized secrets, verifiers SHALL compare the prospective secrets against a list that contains values known to be commonly-used, expected, or compromised. For example, the list MAY include, but is not limited to: Passwords obtained from previous breach corpuses. Seen a password in a data breach before? Then...

Welcoming the Spanish Government to Have I Been Pwned

A couple of months ago, I shared news of on-boarding the UK and Australian governments to Have I Been Pwned (HIBP). As I explained at the time, I wanted to provide the folks there with easy access to their respective government domains which meant providing them with the facility to query at the TLD level - namely, .gov.uk and .gov.au - as well as across a handful of their other whitelisted gov domains on other TLDs. In that post, I also committed to transparency as it relates to government access and as part of that, today I'm happy to welcome the Spanish government to HIBP. As with many countries, Spain has a governmental CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team)...

Enhancing Pwned Passwords Privacy by Exclusively Supporting Anonymity

When I launched Pwned Passwords in August, I honestly didn't know how much it would be used. I made 320M SHA-1 password hashes downloadable and also stood up an API to query the data "as a service" by either a plain text password or a SHA-1 hash. (Incidentally, for anyone about to lose their mind over SHA-1, read that launch post as to why that hashing algorithm is used.) But the service did become quite popular, although that was just the beginning... I launched V2 in February and pumped the number of passwords up to just over half a billion. The big difference, however, was the introduction of the k-Anonymity model developed by Cloudflare (special hat-tip to Junade...

Have I Been Pwned is Now Partnering With 1Password

The penny first dropped for me just over 7 years ago to the day: The only secure password is the one you can't remember. In an era well before the birth of Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), I was doing a bunch of password analysis on data breaches and wouldn't you know it - people are terrible at creating passwords! Of course, we all know that but it's interesting to look back on that post all these years later and realise that unfortunately, nothing has really changed. The strength of most passwords is terrible. Then they get reused. Everywhere. That post was my own personal wakeup call; it was the very point where I observed that what we all needed...

The Legitimisation of Have I Been Pwned

There's no way to sugar-coat this: Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) only exists due to a whole bunch of highly illegal activity that has harmed many individuals and organisations alike. That harm extends all the way from those in data breaches feeling a sense of personal violation (that's certainly how I feel when I see my personal information exposed), all the way through to people literally killing themselves (there are many documented examples of this in the wake of the Ashley Madison breach). Plus, of course, there's the ginormous financial impact; TalkTalk claims their 2015 hack cost them £42M and I've heard first-hand from those inside other companies that have suffered data breaches about just how costly they've been ("...

The UK and Australian Governments Are Now Monitoring Their Gov Domains on Have I Been Pwned

If I'm honest, I'm constantly surprised by the extent of how far Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) is reaching these days. This is a little project I started whilst killing time in a hotel room in late 2013 after thinking "I wonder if people actually know where their data has been exposed?" I built it in part to help people answer that question and in part because my inner geek wanted to build an interesting project on Microsoft's Azure. I ran it on a coffee budget (the goal was to keep the operating costs under what a couple of cups from a cafe each day would cost) and I made it freely accessible. And then it took off....

I Wanna Go Fast: Why Searching Through 500M Pwned Passwords Is So Quick

In the immortal words of Ricky Bobby, I wanna go fast. When I launched Pwned Passwords V2 last week, I made it fast - real fast - and I want to talk briefly here about why that was important, how I did it and then how I've since shaved another 56% off the load time for requests that hit the origin. And a bunch of other cool perf stuff while I'm here. Why Speed Matters for Pwned Passwords Firstly, read the previous post about k-Anonymity and protecting the privacy of passwords to save me repeating it all here. I've been amazed at how quickly this has been adopted since I pushed it out very early on Thursday morning my time....

I've Just Added 2,844 New Data Breaches With 80M Records To Have I Been Pwned

tl;dr - a collection of nearly 3k alleged data breaches has appeared with a bunch of data already proven legitimate from previous incidents, but also tens of millions of addresses that haven't been seen in HIBP before. Those 80M records are now searchable, read on for the full story: There's an unknown numbers of data breaches floating around the web. There are data breaches we knew of but they just took years to appear publicly (Dropbox, LinkedIn), data breaches we didn't know of that also took years to discover at all (Disqus, imgur) and indeed, data breaches that were deliberately covered up (Lifeboat, Uber). But I suspect the another big slice of data breaches are the ones that both...

I've Just Launched "Pwned Passwords" V2 With Half a Billion Passwords for Download

Last August, I launched a little feature within Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) I called Pwned Passwords. This was a list of 320 million passwords from a range of different data breaches which organisations could use to better protect their own systems. How? NIST explains: When processing requests to establish and change memorized secrets, verifiers SHALL compare the prospective secrets against a list that contains values known to be commonly-used, expected, or compromised. They then go on to recommend that passwords "obtained from previous breach corpuses" should be disallowed and that the service should "advise the subscriber that they need to select a different secret". This makes a lot of sense when you think about it:...

Streamlining Data Breach Disclosures: A Step-by-Step Process

I don't know how many data breaches I'm sitting on that I'm yet to process. 100? 200? It's hard to tell because often I'm sent collections of multiple incidents in a single archive, often there's junk in there and often there's redundancy across those collections. All I really know is that there's hundreds of gigabytes spread across thousands of files. Sometimes - like in the case of the recent South Africa situation - I could be sitting on data for months that's actually very serious in nature and needs to be brought public awareness. The biggest barrier by far to processing these is the effort involved in disclosure. I want to ensure that any incidents I load into Have I...