How did you collect this information?

What is a "breach"?

A "breach" is an incident where a hacker illegally obtains data from a system, usually by exploiting security weaknesses or software vulnerabilities. The breached data may consist of login credentials or personal information pertaining to a user's identity. The data accessed by the hacker is usually shared with other entities or made publicly available.

What breach information does Westlist store?

All of the breach information indexed by Westlist.com comes from website breaches, which have been made publicly available. Westlist only indexes the compromised email addresses that are part of a data breach and never stores any personal-user information or passwords.

How is a breach verified?

Not all data breaches are legitimate, many turn out to be hoaxes. Westlist indexes breaches only after performing the necessary due diligence to verify the legitimacy of a breach. Westlist performs the following steps to validate a breach’s legitimacy:

  • Check if the impacted website / service has been publicly acknowledged
  • Check if the impacted website / service has been publicly announced by a credible news source
  • Peer review the anatomy of the breach and the data with the security research community
  • Verify the structure of the breached data is consistent with other breaches

What is a "paste"?

A "paste" is information that has been "pasted" to a website designed to publicly share content. There are a number of these "paste" sites such as Pastebin. These sites are frequently used by hackers as a "proof of hack" where the hacker releases a subset of the compromised data as proof of the breach. These sites are preferred by hackers due to the ease of anonymous content sharing and submission.

Westlist actively searches through various pastes sites for indications of possible data breaches. Westlist employs a multi-step process to scrutinize candidate “pastes” for any indications of a data breach.

  • Under no circumstances does Westlist attempt to verify the legitimacy of the data breach by authenticating using the compromised data or credentials.