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E-mail, chat, & VoIP forum: FYI: Hotmail to ban common passwords | Account Hijacking

by: Carol~ July 15, 2011 7:47 AM PDT

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FYI: Hotmail to ban common passwords | Account Hijacking

by Carol~ Moderator - 7/15/11 7:47 AM

Hotmail to ban common passwords

Microsoft has announced that it plans to prevent users of its Windows Live Hotmail email service from using common passwords. Accounts with common passwords are easy targets for hijackers, who often use compromised accounts to send out spam or even launch phishing attacks.

The change will mean that users will have to choose a password that is harder to guess when they sign up for a new account and also when existing users change their password. According to Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager for Windows Live Hotmail, current users with weak passwords may, "at some point in the future, be asked to change it to a stronger password". The new feature "will be rolling out soon".

Craddock notes that, should an account be compromised, it is very often the victim's friends who find out before they do. Because of this, Microsoft is introducing a new "My friend's been hacked!" feature that lets users report that a friend's account has been taken over by flagging any spam or fraudulent mail they receive.

Continued :


Dick Craddock @ Inside Windows Live Blog:

Hey! My friend's account was hacked!

At Hotmail, we know that account hijacking is a big problem, and we continue to work hard to prevent it. We've noticed a couple of things about hijacked accounts. First, many accounts have weak passwords that make them easy targets for hijackers. Second, when someone's account gets hijacked, their friends often find out before they do, because the hijacker uses their account to send spam or phishing email to all their contacts.

These two observations led us to develop a couple of new features that help protect your accounts. The first lets you report a friend's account as compromised - a feature unique to Hotmail - and the second prevents you from using common passwords that make your account easy to hack.

Further Details:


Helpful Topics from the Hotmail Safety and Security Blog:

Recent reports of Account hijacks
What should I do if my account has been hacked?
Hotmail Solutions

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