Friday, December 25, 2009

More than 30,000 e-mail accounts compromised

Tens of thousands of Web-based e-mail accounts were compromised earlier last month after their passwords were stolen. Initially, it was feared that 10,000 e-mail accounts were at risk but now that number has increased to at least 30,000 e-mail accounts.
Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo! are among the providers that have been affected. Security experts at Ritz Security say that the problem arose not because the websites concerned had weak security, but because users responded to phishing e-mails. Phishing is when a fake e-mail is sent pretending to be from an official site, requesting details, such as a password and username.
Security experts believe that in some cases passwords may have been stolen, by using a technique called key-logging. This is when malware is installed on a computer and key strokes are recorded.
Infected accounts are being sent personalised e-mails from shopping sites that are fake and Web-based e-mail users are advised to change their passwords frequently, not to use the same password for various sites, and to choose a secure password.


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