Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$ Says MSN Site Hacked in S. Korea

Filed under
Microsoft

Microsoft acknowledged Thursday that hackers booby-trapped its popular MSN Web site in South Korea to try to steal passwords from visitors. The company said it was unclear how many Internet users might have been victimized.

Microsoft said it cleaned the Web site, www.msn.co.kr, and removed the dangerous software code that unknown hackers had added earlier this week. A spokesman, Adam Sohn, said Microsoft was confident its English-language Web sites were not vulnerable to the same type of attack.

South Korea is a leader in high-speed Internet users worldwide. Microsoft’s MSN Web properties — which offer news, financial advice, car- and home-buying information and more — are among the most popular across the Web.

The affected Microsoft site in South Korea offers news and other information plus links to the company’s free e-mail and search services. Its English-language equivalent is the default home Internet page for the newest versions of its flagship Windows software sold in the United States.

The Korean site, unlike U.S. versions, was operated by another company Microsoft did not identify. Microsoft’s own experts and Korean police authorities were investigating, but Microsoft believes the computers were vulnerable because operators failed to apply necessary software patches, said Sohn, an MSN director.

“Our preliminary opinion here was, this was the result of an unpatched operating system,” Sohn said. “When stuff is in our data center, it’s easier to control. We’re pretty maniacal about getting servers patched and keeping our customers safe and protected.”

Microsoft’s acknowledgment of the hacking incident was the latest embarrassment for the world’s largest software company, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve security and promote consumer confidence in its products.

Security researchers noticed the suspicious programming added to the Korean site and contacted the company Tuesday. Microsoft traced the problem and removed the hacked computers within hours, Sohn said, but it doesn’t yet know how long the dangerous programming was present.

In recent days no customers have reported problems stemming from visits to the Web site, Sohn said.

The hacker program scanned visitors’ computers and tried to activate password-stealing software that was found separately to exist on some hacked Chinese Web sites.

Microsoft said it was trying to decide whether to issue a broad public warning to recent visitors of the Korean site as it examines its own records to attempt to trace anyone who might have been victimized.

© 2005 The Associated Press.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

New/Imminent Releases: Black Lab Linux, Exton|Defender, Mageia

  • Black Lab Linux 8.1 Released
    Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 8.1. Our first incremental release to the 8.0 series. In this release we have brought all security updates up to Feb 15, 2017 as well as application updates.
  • Exton|Defender Super Rescue System Is Now Based on Fedora 25 and Cinnamon 3.2.8
    GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton is announcing the availability of a new build of his Exton|Defender SRS (Super Rescue System) Live DVD/USB designed for those who want to do various administrative tasks on their PCs. Based on the 64-bit version of the Fedora 25 operating system, Exton|Defender SRS Build 170218 comes with up-to-date tools that let you administrate and repair your operating system after a disaster. It's now powered by the Linux 4.9.9 kernel and uses the gorgeous Cinnamon 3.2.8 desktop environment by default.
  • Mageia 6 Has Been Running Months Behind Schedule, But It's Still Coming
    Samuel Verschelde of the Mandrake/Mandriva-forked Mageia Linux distribution has put out a blog post concerning the state of Mageia 6. The last Mageia 6 test release was in June of last year and their next Mageia 6 "stabilization snapshot" has been repeatedly delayed for months.
  • So where is Mageia 6?
    There is no mystery about it, we are totally off schedule. The last preview we published for Mageia 6 was Stabilization Snapshot 1 in June 2016, and Stabilization Snapshot 2 still hasn’t been published, although we have been saying “soon” for weeks, or even months! So what’s going on? Is Mageia dead? Fortunately not. But it’s good that you worry about it because it shows you like your Linux distribution. We need to communicate about the state of things so that you can stop worrying, so here we are.

5 Signs That Show You’re a Linux Geek

While Linux is certainly very easy to use, there are some activities surrounding it that are seen as more complex than others. While they can be all be avoided easily enough, they do have a certain, geeky appeal. How many of them do you follow? Read more

Top 5 best rising Linux distros in 2017

Linux is built for tinkering and experimentation, which means it’s always morphing and changing. New distros are popping up all the time, because all it takes is a little bit of determination, time and effort to create a custom operating system. Not all of them hit the mark – there are stacks of Linux distros that have seen little to no action, and we’re almost certain that some have been released and never installed by anyone other than their creator. Other alternative distros, though, fare rather better. Look at the success of Linux Mint, which spun off from Ubuntu to become (at times) arguably more popular than its own parent. Indeed, Ubuntu itself grew from Debian, and its niche offshoots (distros like Ubuntu Studio) have seen good movement. If there’s a market out there for your distro, there’s traction to be had. So let’s look at our pick of the five distros moving up swiftly through the ranks as of early 2017. Some of these might become the best Linux distros out there, some might turn out to be awful – but it won’t cost you a penny to try them out. Read more