Pastebin to police itself for illegal content

The owner of Pastebin – long used by hackers to dump leaked data – has said he plans to start hiring staff to examine the site for dodgy content.

Jeroen Vader has told the BBC that he plans to start monitoring content proactively, rather than responding once it’s been reported.

“Hopefully this will increase the speed in which we can remove sensitive information,” he said.

While Pastebin is widely used by programmers as a simple way of sharing large amounts of code, it’s also become a popular way for hackers to spread instructions and release hacked information.

In recent weeks, files containing the email addresses and passwords of vistors to hacked porn site Youporn have been posted, as have a ‘map’ of a UN database and the personal information of members of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church.

There’s already a facility for reporting illegal material – and Vader told the BBC that more than 1,000 removal requests are made every day. But, he said, he’d like to see the site removing ‘sensitive’ material even when a complaint hasn’t been made.

The announcement will not go down well with hackers, who already attacking the site pretty frequently, often as a way of testing their skills.

“In the last three months not a single day has gone by that we didn’t get some kind of DDoS attack, but in February there were some really long attacks going on,” said Vader. “The longest one went on for more than 48 hours.”