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

KDE: Simple by Default, Powerful When Needed

KDE (back when it was still the name of the desktop environment) and our applications historically stood for powerful features and great flexibility and customizeability. This is what our users love about our software, this is why they choose Plasma and KDE software instead of one of the other Free desktop offerings. And it is also something they would fight tooth and nail for if we wanted to take it away (as many a KDE maintainer who dared to remove a feature he thought was unnecessary can tell). Read more

BitTorrent Bleep alpha released for Android

As an alpha it still has some issues “As with any Alpha, there are some known issues and bugs to work out. Android users will need to set the app to “Wi-Fi Only” unless you have an unlimited data plan; this is only for the time being while we iron out and issue related to battery and data-plan. And while you can move a username from desktop to mobile, Bleep does not yet support moving an existing account from Android to the desktop. And while you can receive messages on multiple devices; messages sent will not be seen across all devices. As with our previous release, communications happen only when all parties are online – you cannot send offline photos or group chats asynchronously.” Read more

During Akademy 2014

This year there were lot of fast track (10 minutes) talks on different areas around KDE. All of them were quite interesting, some of them are: Bruno Coudoin talked about how and why GCompris moved to QtQuick with the support of KDE. What all challenges project faced while moving from GTK to Qt. Daniel Vrátil talked about his one year journey with Akonadi Martin Gräßlin gave an overview of current state of Kwin in adding Wayland support and future plans. Kevin Ottens talked about KDE craftsmen where analysis was on the way we handle our software production, how can we make our software even better. Kai Uwe Broulik talked about current status of Qt port on Android and iOS. Currently, 3 iOS apps in Apple store and 8 Android apps in Google play since December 2013. Read more

Leftovers: Software