Have You Been PWNED?

What does the word PWNED mean? There are a lot of definitions, but the easiest one comes from the site internetslang.com

PWNED is “Owned, dominated” or “Perfectly Owned”. A lot of theories about the origin of it abound, and I won’t get into that here. The biggest reason I’ve heard for it catching on so well is that it sounds like the definition of it. Hard, fast, and tough.

So, why am I talking about this at all? Because I came upon another website, of course. A way to check yourself and your email security.

PWNED LIST lets you enter your email address or user name into their search engine and see if it has been compromised at all. So far they have found over four million people with compromised addresses. Thankfully mine is not one of them. 🙂

Of course one of the first things I wondered was if  this is a front for someone who wants to collect email addresses for their own use. For those of us worried about the security of our user information, they offer the option of generating a SHA Hash to mask it. I did it, and it still gave me the same result.

The PWNED people say they are a group of security researchers who are doing this in their spare time. They have a contact page where they accept any type of message, including anonymous ones.

Go ahead and check it out for yourself!