Microsoft's Hotmail wide open to hackers

A spokesperson for Ninemsn, the Microsoft joint venture responsible for Hotmail in Australia, said it was not known how many, if any, Australian Hotmail customers were affected by the security loophole.

However, Microsoft explained that any email service that uses cookies and accepts messages containing JavaScripts could be vulnerable to the attack.

Hotmail boasts a worldwide customer base of more than 52 million users, 2 million of whom are registered in Australia. Roughly 10 per cent of Australia's population uses Hotmail and were previously vulnerable to hack attacks.

The security loophole was exploited by sending a Hotmail user an email message that contained a particular HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) attachment.

When the user opened the attached file, a program was launched which intercepted their Hotmail cookie and emailed it back to the hacker.

Microsoft said Hotmail was taken offline for "less than an hour" while the software giant "quickly implemented a fix on all the Hotmail servers".

It is believed that Microsoft discovered the security loophole after the hacker published details of the cyber-oversight online.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments


Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?