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Analysis of Virgin Net's Hacker Scare

Written By: P. Hayes
Published On: January 23 2000

Event Summary

LONDON (AP) - Thousands of Virgin Net e-mail users were given new passwords after the company uncovered a potential security breach.

Market Impact

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 users.

User Recommendations

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.

 
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