Feeds

PlusNet blames itself for webmail spamfest

Russian connection in hacking investigation

Reducing security risks from open source software

PlusNet has accepted blame for its latest email blunder, having previously fingered vulnerabilities in third party webmail software for last week's security flap.

The Sheffield-based ISP admitted late yesterday that it was its implementation of @Mail's webmail code which exposed thousands of subsciber email addresses and contacts to spammers. The firm made the mea culpa in an detailed incident report posted on its website, which had been promised for last Friday.

On Wednesday last week, a company spokesman told us the hackers had found a new vulnerability in @Mail's messaging platform. Today Plusnet said: "The attacker exploited a vulnerability within the @Mail webmail code which was compounded by vulnerabilities within our own implementation."

Since it took the service offline, PlusNet has implemented a more basic SquirrelMail open source webmail platform, which it plans to stick with. The BT-owned outfit said it was researching "longer term" options for improving the service and integrating it with the PlusNet portal and other communications tools, as @Mail had been.

In the wake of the crisis, PlusNet also made a series of promises to improve its security, including SSL encryption for FTP, and POP3 and IMAP email. Subscribers should be able to change their username in future too, to escape spam-stuffed inboxes.

As well as stealing customer data, the attackers loaded pop-up malware on to one of PlusNet's six email servers. The frame linked to a Russian video site which loaded a Trojan on to the user's machine. Beyond the Russian connection, PlusNet has not released any details of the ongoing criminal investigation into the hack. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.