Hackers expose slew of Hotmail acount passwords

Oct 05, 2009
hotmail

Microsoft on Monday blocked access to thousands of Hotmail accounts in response to hackers plundering password information and posting it online.

Cyber-crooks evidently used "phishing" tactics to dupe users of Microsoft's free Web-based into revealing account and access information, according to the US technology giant.

"We are aware that some Windows Live Hotmail customers' credentials were acquired illegally by a phishing scheme and exposed on a website," Microsoft said in response to an AFP inquiry.

"We have taken measures to block access to all of the accounts that were exposed and have resources in place to help those users reclaim their accounts."

Microsoft said it learned of the problem during the weekend after Hotmail account information of "several thousand" users, many of them reportedly in Europe, was posted at a website.

Phishing is an Internet bane and involves using what hackers refer to as "social engineering" to trick people into revealing information online or downloading onto computers.

Phishing tactics include sending people tainted email attachments that promise enticing content such as sexy photos of celebrities and luring people to bogus log-in pages that are convincing replicas of legitimate websites.

"This was not a breach of internal Microsoft data," the Redmond, Washington-based technology firm said.

"Phishing is an industry-wide problem ... exercise extreme caution when opening unsolicited attachments and links from both known and unknown sources, and install and regularly update ."

is also advising users to change their account passwords every 90 days.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Google removes news snippets in Germany legal fight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook fights 'phishing' scam

May 01, 2009

Facebook Thursday said it has blocked a link at the heart of a "phishing" scam being used to dupe members into revealing passwords to accounts at the social networking website.

Cyber-crooks targeting social-networking websites

Mar 03, 2009

Computer security specialists warn that Facebook users have been hit with a series of data-stealing attacks in the past week as cyber crooks increasingly stalk social-networking websites.

Researchers fight phishing attacks with phishing tactics

Oct 02, 2007

Early findings by Carnegie Mellon University researchers suggest that people who are suckered by a spoof email into visiting a counterfeit Web site are also people who are ready to learn their lesson about “phishing” ...

Recommended for you

Twitter-funded lab to seek social media insights

6 hours ago

A new Twitter-funded research project unveiled Wednesday, with access to every tweet ever sent, will look for patterns and insights from the billions of messages sent on social media.

Facebook makes peace with gays over 'real names'

8 hours ago

Facebook on Wednesday vowed to ease its "real names" policy that prompted drag queen performers to quit the social network and sparked wider protests in the gay community and beyond.

User comments : 0