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Update: Since writing this piece, My Space have posted a blog about the incident which they've dated as having occurred before 11 June 2013.

Facebook was on a massive climb and My Space was losing visitors.

However, it wasn't losing and you could speculate that they could have been frozen in time in 2008 then hacked years later and the evidence would still point to the incident occurring 8 years ago.

Keep in mind that we're talking about a time where My Space was running into serious trouble and there were a raft of lay-offs, it's highly conceivable that someone literally walked out the door with the data.

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.

The data is now searchable in Have I been pwned (yes, all 359,420,698 unique email addresses) and if you do find yourself in there and know when your account was created, drop a note in the comments below and we might be able to crowd source a more accurate picture of when this event occurred.

What we really need though is more data from between 20.

One source of info is to look at the stats comparing mail providers from around the turn of the decade.

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.

Now again, this is not to say that as of the end of 2008 My Space would have had 1.5 Hotmail accounts for every 1 Gmail account as they'd already had 6 years of accumulating Hotmail customers and only a couple of years of Gmail customers (at least since they went out of beta).

That's right, truncated and case insensitive passwords stored without a salt.