Feeds

Microsoft squashes Hotmail password hijack bug

Hackers offer to crack accounts for £12

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Microsoft has smacked down a Hotmail bug that allowed hackers to lock users out of their own accounts.

Redmond took one day to slap down a glitch that allowed anyone with a Firefox add-on to remotely reset the password of a Hotmail account. The Tamper Data add-on allowed hackers to siphon off the outgoing HTTP request from the browser in real time and then modify the data.

When they hit a password reset on a given email account they could fiddle the requests and input in a reset they chose. Vulnerability-lab.com outlined the details:

Remote attackers can bypass the password recovery service to set up a new password and bypass in place protections (token based). The token protection only checks if a value is empty, then blocks or closes the web session. A remote attacker can, for example, bypass the token protection with values “+++)-“. Successful exploitation results in unauthorized MSN or Hotmail account access.

The bug seems to have been around for a while, but has recently been targeted by hackers on a larger scale. Blog whitec0de pointed out that hackers online were advertising to crack Hotmail accounts for as little as $20 (£12).

According to the vulnerability-lab.com report: Microsoft was alerted to the flaw on 20 April, and got a fix out on 21 April, one day later. They went public with the fix yesterday.

Hotmail has 364 million users, according to a comscore report from 2010. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
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
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
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.