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There's been no information forthcoming from anyone about when this breach actually occurred and there's no explicit indicators in the data dump either (sometimes there are timestamps on account creation or website activity). The passwords are stored as SHA1 hashes of the first 10 characters of the password converted to lowercase.That's right, truncated and case insensitive passwords stored without a salt.That's not to say it couldn't have been hacked in a more traditional external-actor sort of way, but the timing is coincidental...So that's the best estimate I can draw on the evidence here - My Space was probably hacked in the mid-2008 to early-2009 time frame.But check the proportions in April 09: This data feels too late when we think back to the 1:5 and 1:3 ratios for Yahoo and Hotmail versus Gmail.Let's find some stats on the previous year, for example this cart from Tech Crunch in Jan 2009: Here the ratio of Gmail to Hotmail starts out at about 1:2.5 in Oct 2007 and finishes at about 1:1.5 in Dec 2008.
Facebook was on a massive climb and My Space was losing visitors.
There are likely some interesting insights to take away from the passwords alone, but it's the email addresses that can help us actually date the thing.
When we look at the top 3 email address in the My Space breach by domain, we see an interesting distribution: What's up with Gmail?!
Of course this is all assuming an even distribution of accounts over services at similar times which will never be before Linked In was.
What we really need though is more data from between 20.