Stolen Hotmail Accounts Reveal Many Simple Passwords

Bogdan Calin is a security researcher, who made that discovery after obtaining about ten thousand Windows Live Hotmail usernames and passwords last week. The data had been stolen, presumably by a phishing scam, and posted to PasteBin, a public website.

The scammers who posted the data also raided Yahoo Mail, AOL, and Gmail, in a study undertaken by the BBC. Their report disclosed that over twenty thousand accounts had been taken from the various providers, including the ten thousand Hotmail accounts that Calin investigated.

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Potential Phishing Attack Exposes Hotmail Accounts

On Monday morning, Internet pirates posted more than ten thousand Hotmail accounts online. In a demonstration of their ability to obtain sensitive information, the attackers displayed the usernames and passwords needed to access a Hotmail account, for accounts listed in alphabetical order and beginning with ‘A’ and ‘B.’

About 5,500 accounts were revealed for each of the two letters. An extrapolation of this data presents a surmise that a total of approximately 143,000 accounts were violated, if the attackers have similar numbers of account numbers for all 26 letters of the alphabet.

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Missing Functionality Exasperates Hotmail Users

Hotmail, the popular webmail application owned by Microsoft Corporation has been receiving a lot of complaints lately. Users griped on an unannounced removal of an often used feature of webmail, the “Attach Photo” plugin. This surprise move left many Hotmail users puzzled, some wasting hours trying to trace their steps backwards hoping to debug the issue on their own. The “Attach Photo” feature is a plugin that allows users to edit and create captions for pictures for inclusion into the email body. This nifty feature compresses the files after they are edited, allowing users to add more pictures. This function was used often by Hotmail account holders and they were exasperated when they found out that function that gave them a very easy way to customize their photo uploads was removed.

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