Menu
Researcher releases 10 million usernames, passwords from data breaches

Researcher releases 10 million usernames, passwords from data breaches

The data is already public but has been cleaned up to enable better analysis

A researcher has released 10 million usernames and passwords collected from data breaches over the last decade, a step he worries could be a legally murky but one that will help security research.

The data comes from major data breaches at companies including Adobe Systems and Stratfor, all of which have already been publicly released and can be found through Web searches, said Mark Burnett, a Utah-based security consultant who has written several networking and security books.

Most of the passwords are likely invalid, and he has scrubbed other information such as domain names to make it unusable for hackers, Burnett said. Still, usernames or passwords found on the list that are still used should be changed.

The security concern around such a release is "something I didn't take lightly," Burnett said in a phone interview. "I don't want to put users at risk."

Burnett, who has studied password security for 15 years, said the data came from public sources. He's also been collecting leaked data using scripts that scrape forums, IRC, Usenet groups, Pastebin, torrent releases and other sources.

"This data is extremely valuable for academic and research purposes and for furthering authentication security," Burnett wrote in a blog post.

He devotes a large portion of his blog post discussing points of U.S. law that might apply to such a release, and why it is likely not a violation. Burnett said the release is not "technically illegal," but that doesn't mean law enforcement couldn't use it as a pretext for some other line of questioning.

Burnett compiled the data, cleaning it up and removing duplicate credentials. The result is a .txt file with the credentials, which is already being studied by those with an interest in it, he said.

The top 100 passwords used by people haven't really changed over the years, with the same weak ones appearing.

But that's not the only problem. With an overwhelming number of websites requiring registration, many people continue to reuse the same credentials over and over again, putting them at risk if a website has a data breach. Hackers often try to see if the credentials will work on other sites.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags no companysecurity

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments