Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Over ten thousand Hotmail account details have been published online.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced that it's currently looking into a possible phishing scheme that has exposed the passwords of "thousands" of Windows Live Hotmail accounts. Evidence of the hack originally surfaced over on pastebin.com last week (October 1) where the assaulting party posted the account addresses and passwords, most of which resided in Europe.

However, Neowin reports that it caught part of the list before it was removed, saying that more than 10,000 accounts were revealed. Unfortunately, the list only covered the letters A and B, indicating that there were thousands more not yet exposed to inquiring minds. The listed addresses include users with @hotmail.com, @msn.com, and @live.com domains.

"Over the weekend Microsoft learned that several thousand Windows Live Hotmail customers’ credentials were exposed on a third-party site due to a likely phishing scheme," Microsoft said. "Upon learning of the issue, we immediately requested that the credentials be removed and launched an investigation to determine the impact to customers. As part of that investigation, we determined that this was not a breach of internal Microsoft data and initiated our standard process of working to help customers regain control of their accounts."

Microsoft added that Hotmail users should change passwords every 90 days. Administrators should approve and authenticate known users, and those that can show credentials. Users should also keep anti-virus software up to date, Microsoft said.

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