UK Donates 225m Recovered Passwords to Hack-Checking Project

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Feb 21, 2022

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In a collaborative effort to combat cybercrime, the UK has donated 225 million recovered passwords to the free internet security site HIBP on Friday.

The Handover 

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) donated the huge collection of passwords it recovered from hackers to the website Have I Been Pwned (with the last word pronounced like “pond”). This is a free online service that lets users check to see if someone managed to breach their data.

Troy Hunt, the website’s frontman, announced the handover in a blog post on Friday.

The new release brings the website’s total to 874,223,402, representing a significant 38% increase. Users can find all 225,665,425 of them via the website’s new API.

In case someone finds their password on the list, they should immediately change it with a stronger one or use a password manager tool.

Pipeline for Law Enforcement

Hunt added in his blog post that HIPB has built an ingestion pipeline for law enforcement agencies like the FBI and NCA. The aim of the pipeline is to protect people from brute force, keylogging, and other cyberattacks.

“The premise is simple,” he wrote. “During the course of their investigations, they come across a lot of compromised passwords, and if they were able to continuously feed those into HIBP, all the other services out there using Pwned Passwords would be able to better protect their customers from account takeover attacks.”

Have I Been Pwned has been around since 2013. The website is quite popular, gathering over 3 million email subscribers. It provides records of close to 8 billion accounts.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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