I love following ZDNet ; great information on current and new technologies as well as practical guidelines on Information technology (IT), privacy and security. There latest article was in relation to a tool allowing you to find out if your email address was stolen in a hacker breach. The online tool is called HackNotifier .
This tool was created by Julian Pulgarin a candidate for Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
According to ZDNet:
Julian decided, what with all the lists of personal information being released to the public by the likes of Anonymous, Wikileaks, AntiSec, and LulzSec, individuals might be worried that their information might now be out “in the wild.”
So Julian’s been curating the released data. He’s built a database containing all the email addresses (over 1.4 million addresses, including the Booz Allen Hamiliton breach).
All you have to do is go over to HackNotifier.com. Enter your email address (which he promises me he’s not capturing), and the site will tell you if your email address is in any publicly available leaked database.
Although there is a statement of purpose and use on the HackNotifer website stating that:
HackNotifer is completely safe to use. All emails that are checked are only used to make sure that your accounts are secure. Your email is never stored without your permission.
Several questions come to mind immediately. For instance, how do they know what email is linked to a specific account? How did they get access to the leaked information found in the database? Do they have permission to use such information in light of various class action lawsuits? Am I missing something?
I’m too much of a coward to try, but despite my misgivings, I thought this was a genius undertaking in relation to the numerous data breaches we have been witnessing lately.
Let me know what you think. And if anyone does have the guts to try, give me some feedback.