Have you been PWNed!?

by Stephen O
If you were affected by Lulzsec’s attack on Sony or any of the other numerous targets you may have had your information compromised. This summer there seemed to be no shortage of news of hackers and their victims, and no one seemed safe not even the government or their affiliates were safe from hacking or denial of service attacks. While people suffered and business were thoroughly embarrassed there was opportunity to be had. Recently several sites like pwnedlist.com have sprung up and have offered people a chance to check their usernames and emails against databases of known lists that Lulzsec released of compromised accounts. “Among security experts, 2011 has already been anointed “Year of the Data Breach.” Millions of people have had their email addresses, user names, passwords and more clipped by crackers breaking into the data stores of companies like Sony, Epsilon, Google, Citigroup and Sega. What’s more many more less publicized breaches occur daily. So Pwnedlist couldn’t be coming online at a better time.” (Mello jr, 2011)

Reflection

One of the first things when creating something, a product or service you have to identify a need. The “Year of the Data Breach” created a need. People were concerned if their information had been compromised and I understand that. I had a friend who had his information compromised in the Sony debacle, his credit card stolen and used to order a bunch of US magazines.  So he would probably be one of those people who would love to have had a service like this available this summer.

How this relates to databases, sites like PWNEDlist uses databases to store the account information that Lulzsec dumped onto the web. The database wouldn’t have to be terribly complicated, and all the site does is compare a email/username supplied by the user and it is compared against the database. While the service is free for now. I can easily see this becoming a freemium service that would allow for users to pay for further services. What do you think about this? Do you think sites like PWNedlist have potential to grow?

Mello jr, J. P. (2011, November 4). Free Service Lets You See If Your Email Address Has Been Compromised. Retrieved November 5, 2011, from PCWorld: http://www.pcworld.com/article/243192/free_service_lets_you_see_if_your_email_address_has_been_compromised.html