Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Hollande and Africa: French President Speaks to France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Thiaroye: a dark chapter in France and Senegal's common history

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

The 'Stagnation Trap', with Catherine Mann, Chief Economist at OECD

Read more

ENCORE!

'An American in Paris', a truly transatlantic collaboration

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Oil prices 'could fall further' without OPEC output cut

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

How not to argue over Thanksgiving dinner

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Just how green is François Hollande?

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: African Americans call for boycott of 'Black Friday'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Sierra Leone: UN won't meet December 1st target for containing Ebola virus

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)