Have cybercriminals stolen my personal data and made them freely available online so that others might also access and misuse them?
Internet users all over the world can now answer this question using a free service from the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI) at the University of Potsdam in Germany. All they need to do is visit https://sec.hpi.de and enter their e-mail address. The system will then search the internet for freely available personal data linked to them.
If names, passwords, account details or other personal data associated with the e-mail address are found to be circulating the web, the HPI will warn the user via e-mail and give him/her tips about how to proceed. For security reasons, the institute will not disclose the precise nature of the data.
The computer scientists who developed the service have named their innovation the Identity Leak Checker. To date, researchers at the university institute, which is funded by SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, have identified and analysed over 170 million sets of personal data on the internet. Some 667,000 free checks have been carried out since the service launched in Germany. In 80,000 of those cases, the users had to be informed that they had been the victims of identity theft.
“This type of warning system for stolen personal data circulating the internet aims to make users more aware of the way they handle their personal data,” says Prof. Christoph Meinel, director of the HPI. His department has also built a database for analysing IT vulnerabilities (https://hpi-vdb.de).
It integrates and combines large quantities of data already available online about software vulnerabilities and other security issues. The database currently contains a good 61,000 pieces of information about weak spots that exist in nearly 160,000 software programs from over 13,000 manufacturers.
The HPI database has recently started helping users run free checks of their computers for identifiable weak spots that cybercriminals often skilfully exploit for their attacks. The system recognises the user’s browser – including commonly used plugins – and displays a list of known vulnerabilities. Plans to expand the self-diagnosis system to cover other software installed on a computer are currently in the pipeline.
Profile of Hasso Plattner Institute
The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering GmbH (HPI) in Potsdam is Germany’s university excellence center for IT Systems Engineering. It is the only university institution in Germany offering the bachelor and master program in “IT Systems Engineering” – a practical and engineering-oriented study program in computer science, in which 450 students are presently enrolled. The HPI School of Design Thinking is Europe’s first innovation school and modeled on the Stanford d.school. It offers 240 places yearly for a supplementary study. There are a total of ten HPI professors and over 50 guest professors, lecturers and contracted teachers at the Institute. HPI carries out research noted for its high standard of excellence in its nine topic areas, as well as at the HPI Research School for PhD candidates, with its further branches in Cape Town, Haifa and Nanjing. HPI teaching and research focuses on the foundation and application of large-scale, highly complex and networked IT systems. The development and exploration of user-driven innovations for all areas of life is an additional field of importance. HPI always earns the highest positions in the CHE university ranking. Since the beginning of September 2012, HPI has offered openhpi.de, an interactive Internet educational platform. Its free online courses are open to everyone.
https://sec.hpi.de - Identity Leak Checker, a free service of the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI)
https://hpi-vdb.de - HPI Database for Vulnerability Analysis
http://www.hpi.de - Website of the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI)
Hans-Joachim Allgaier | Hasso-Plattner-Institut
Next stop Morocco: EU partners test innovative space robotics technologies in the Sahara desert
09.11.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
A burst of ”synchronous” light
08.11.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding