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Friendster password emails spark site hack fears

Blast from the social networking past

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Multiple users have reported receiving spam emails containing their Friendster password in plain text.

The appearance of the suspicious emails to registered Friendster addresses (widely reported by numerous Twitter users on Thursday) has spawned fears that Friendster database might have been hacked. An alternative theory is that a partner of the once massive social networking site might have leaked the data.

All this remains unconfirmed. We've asked Friendster for a response but are yet to hear back.

We ran an early blog report explaining the suspicious emails past net security firm Sophos: it said that although any individual report might be circumstantial, the collective weight of reports leaves Friendster with some explaining to do.

In the meantime users who received the suspicious emails would be well advised to change their passwords, especially if they used their Friendster password on other sites.

Friendster was one of the original social networking websites but its position was usurped by MySpace and Facebook, at least in the West, where it has since become a topic of parody. The site remained popular in Asia.

Even so the site abandoned social networking altogether last month, repositioning as a social gaming site. ®

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