Yet more spam issues...

As some of you might have noticed, my Hotmail account got broken into. Regardless of what my email might have said, I am not now an “electronics wholesale.”

(I assume you all know this, but as a public service I’m reminding you that you should never click on links in emails unless you’re 100% sure they’re safe…)

You probably know that I’m not a naive user—I run antivirus software and keep my browsers relatively locked down, I never let browsers remember passwords, I don’t give out personal information online if at all possible, etc. So what’s up?

A little Google searching has shown me that this particular issue has been an ongoing problem for the last year or so. The interesting thing is that it’s not just a Microsoft issue. It has been reported on Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo webmail accounts (at least), and it happens to both Mac and PC users. Similar messages are also getting posted to internet forums all over the place.

To me, that implies that it’s not a virus or malware problem. It’s more likely someone out there using brute computing force to guess passwords…which has an extremely low probability of working, but isn’t impossible. That might explain why the the outbreak reports seem so sporadic. (Hotmail considered my old password “strong,” but in all honesty it was pretty mediocre…get yourself a good one.)

Anyway, my password has been changed and I sent all the details to Microsoft’s help department. I hope this won’t be a problem again…but unfortunately I can’t make any promises.

Bret, Saturday 06 September 2008 at 6:54 pm One comment
Ryan, (Email ) (URL) - 13-09-’08 15:11

Great, now I’m scared of password guessers. Mine was “strong,” too. Looks like I’ll have to switch it from “ryanisreallycool” to something less obvious.

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