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Firefox Monitor tells you when your online accounts were hacked

2018-09-26 15:39 by
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Mozilla has launched Firefox Monitor - an online service that tells you if your online accounts were hacked in a recent data breach. Monitor is available to all users for free.

Originally unveiled in beta in June, Firefox Monitor scans the web for email addresses that have been compromised in various hacks. It's based on a partnership with Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), a tool developed by Microsoft developer Troy Hunt that's been quietly monitoring breaches since 2013.

After you enter your email address and hit the scan button, you're told which online services have leaked your personal details (if any). You can also sign up to be notified of any future data breaches involving one or more of your email addresses.

To make sure that email addresses entered by the Monitor's users are not shared even with its partner HIBP, Mozilla uses hash range query API endpoints. Simply speaking, it hashes the user's email and sends a few first characters of the hash as a query. HIBP then finds all entries that start with these characters and replies with a series of hash suffixes of the breached accounts, which are then checked on Mozilla's side. This way, even hashed email addresses are not shared with any third parties.

Firefox Monitor is part of Firefox's bigger push to increase its security and privacy features: In August, it announced that the browser would integrate anti-tracking, which strips out any third-party trackers that follow you around the internet, later this year. Launching these tools to help people manage their online lives shows that Mozilla is trying to keep up with what users actually want by listening to them–yet another reason why you should switch to Firefox.

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