LONDON (AP) - Thousands of Virgin Net e-mail users were given new passwords
after the company uncovered a potential security breach.
More than 170,000 registered Virgin Net e-mail users were handed an interruption
of service following the discovery of a hacker attempting to access Virgin's
network. The company only operates in England and claims the break-in attempts
were only to specific and contained areas. The company has issued apology letters
to all those affected by the interruption. This hacking attempt falls on the
heels of Microsoft's HotMail security issues, which affected up to 40 million
As commercially available email sites continue to grow, a wealth of information
is pooled together for those who know what they are looking for. The typical
security level for these sites is substandard and therefore becomes an appealing
target for hackers, who prefer to think of themselves as 'crackers'. When using
a free Internet based e-mail service, refrain from using the service for financial
and/or professional services, if you feel uncomfortable with the content of
your email, don't send it.