POTSDAM, Germany, December 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
In special Internet forums, security researchers at the German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) have tracked down nearly 35 million pieces of stolen identity data this year. Cyber criminals had published the data in fifteen cases, thus making it available for possible further illegal activities. HPI director Prof. Christoph Meinel stated that anyone can use the Institute's "Identity Leak Checker" to check if his or her personal identity data has been affected. By entering an e-mail address at https://sec.hpi.de/ilc it is possible to find out immediately, after a comparison has been made, whether the address has been disclosed in connection with other personal data (e.g., passwords or bank account numbers).
"In the meantime, we are able to perform such checks against more than 215 million pieces of data collected from so-called leaks," said Meinel. At the end of 2014 it was 180 million pieces of collected data. The data collected this year comes from 15 sources, such as Ashley Madison, Skype, Twitter, and Minecraft. But also information is provided from leaks from lesser known sources such as Lizard Stresser, Sprashivai or Impact Mailorder.
"This year there have been many big data thefts. In each case more than one million sets of identity data were stolen and subsequently made public," Meinel reported. Increasingly, so-called dating portals have been attacked where the hacker sees a high blackmail potential.
Since the launch of the service in May 2014, to date approximately 1.7 million visitors have made use of the HPI Identity Leak Checker. Up to now, 160,000 warning messages informing visitors about published identity data have been sent.
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SOURCE Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI)