Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Weiner strikes again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of political tourism in the Middle East

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Video Music Awards, Rock en Seine and Puppa Lek Sen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Gulf of Porto, a paradise of land and sea

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Quarterback takes a stand by sitting down

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Anger over restaurant's decision to deny service to Muslim women

Read more

Hotmail account passwords exposed by hackers

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-06

Passwords belonging to some users of Microsoft's Hotmail email service were exposed on an Internet site, but they have since been taken down. Some reports suggested that passwords to more than 10,000 accounts were exposed.

AFP - 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 email service 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 malicious software 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 anti-virus software."
   
Microsoft is also advising Hotmail users to change their account passwords every 90 days.

Date created : 2009-10-06

COMMENT(S)