The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Whole new appreciation for passwords

I learned a whole new appreciation for passwords tonight. A family member and 15 others included in an old (10 year old) yahoo account received an email ostensibly from me with a bunch of spam crap in it. The only way I can see that the combination of that account and those addresses can co-exist is if someone entered that account, possibly with a script banging away with potential hits. It was a low level password.

Needless to say I have deleted all addresses from that account, and altered the password to an unguessable one. Also changed the passwords on my regular email accounts too. Anyone who has offerred their password to any of those social sites to invite friends should think carefully too and change their passwords. However my example is such an old account, that its not clear at all to me how it was uncovered.

Interestingly, I can assure you that if you are using gmail, then this problem will be invisible because the errant email goes to your spam folder. If you are using yahoo mail which is apparently incapable of filtering spam, then you might see this problem.

Written by Colin Henderson

June 25, 2008 at 21:25

Posted in Security

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