Feeds

Hotmail pulls Attach-Photo feature over security concerns

Stealth suspension explained

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Microsoft has suspended the "Attach-Photo" feature in Hotmail as a result of security concerns.

Webmail users can still add photos as attachments to Hotmail messages, just not in the same way as before. Microsoft expects to restore the suspended feature by the end of September.

Microsoft spoke about the recent suspension in postings to the Windows Live blog here and help pages here on Thursday.

Redmond explains the feature was suspended after testing unearthed a security glitch involving the interaction of its feature with IE.

Some of you may have noticed that lately, you can no longer add photos directly into the body of a Windows Live Hotmail message the way you used to do. The Windows Live team is constantly reviewing Hotmail to ensure quality service to our customers.

During a recent review, we identified an incompatibility with Internet Explorer that caused a security flaw with photo uploads, and we made the decision to temporarily remove the feature.

The Hotmail team takes security very seriously and we expect to bring back the photo upload feature by the end of September. In the meantime, you can still add pictures as attachments to your Hotmail messages, by clicking Attach, and then selecting the picture you want to include.

Microsoft apologised for any inconvenience resulting from the suspension. The feature was actually pulled around four weeks ago (since 24 July or thereabouts) but Microsoft only went public on Thursday. In the interim many users expressed confusion and frustration in Hotmail forums.

The technology was reportedly pulled because of a dodgy ActiveX control but no further information is available at the time of writing. Reading between the lines, it looks like Microsoft will address the flaw with an IE update during the September edition of Patch Tuesday followed by the restoration of the feature a few weeks later. It almost goes without saying but this timetable is subject to change. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.