Microsoft had a bad weekend as around 20,000 hotmail accounts were hacked and their passwords were posted on October 1 by an anonymous user on pastebin, a website used by programmers to share code snippets. The page was removed soon after (even the cached page by Google).
How were the accounts hacked?
The most probable reason for the accounts getting hacked is phishing. Wikipedia defines phishing as:
In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as user-names, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
I feel my account is hacked, what should I do?
- You can fill the reset password form and request for a new password.
- If you feel that you account was on the list posted on pastebin, you can fill out this form to reclaim access to your account.
You should also take the following safety precautions so that you account doesn’t get hacked in the future:
- Reset you account’s password every 60-90 days.
- As phishing sites can also pose additional threats, please install and keep anti-virus software up to date.
[Editor’s Note: This post is submitted by our guest blogger Gautam. He works for OrkutPlus.