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'My Friend's Been Hacked' Tool Added to Hotmail

It's happened to us all. We're sifting through emails and we see a message from a friend we haven't talked to in a while. Upon opening it we discover this friend has either started pedaling Rolex watches or moved to Nigeria to marry a prince who needs our bank details. If you're like me, you delete the email and (if you remember) mention that your friend should change his or her password. However, Hotmail users now have an even faster and more effective way to nip account hijacking the bud: a 'My friend's been hacked!' button.

Speaking via the Windows Live blog, Microsoft's Dick Craddock explained that the feature will work in tandem with the company's existing compromise detection tools.

"When we detect bad behavior from an account (like an account that suddenly starts sending spam), we mark that account as compromised. It’s a bit like your credit card company putting a hold on your account when they detect suspicious activity. Hotmail takes that report and combines it with the other information from the compromise detection engine to determine if the account in question has in fact been hijacked," he explained, adding, "It turns out that the report that comes from you can be one of the strongest 'signals' to the detection engine, since you may be the first to notice the compromise. So, when you help out this way, it makes a big difference!"

Once an account has been marked as compromised, it's frozen so that the hijacker can no longer use it. Next time your friend tries to log in, he or she will be put through an account recovery flow that helps them take back control of the account.

The feature should appear under the 'Mark as...' drop down and will also work for messages from friends with accounts with Gmail or Yahoo! Mail.

  • thebigt42
    Great I have a bunch of address to give them!!
    Reply
  • hellwig
    Yeah, I'm sure highschool and college kids won't abuse this system. Is the system smart enough to detect when some stupid kid is crying wolf and marking all of their friends as being compromised? I certainly hope so. Imagine if stupid people started marking others and compromised and shut-down half of hotmail. Just think, a group of friends could decide that they no longer like one of their friends, and then all of them mark that account as compromised. I mean, if highschool kids will bully someone until they kill themselves, they won't think twice about repeatedly getting that person's email account shut down.

    I know the SPAM button has basically screwed up email circulars and periodicals. The systems currently in place are not smart enough to detect that someone is too stupid to unsubscribe from a newsletter they actually signed up for, and that they instead mark those emails as spam until they stop showing up. Guess what, its NOT SPAM if YOU signed up for it. I'm tired of having to add new contacts because too many morons have been marking emails from legitimate companies as spam and they wind up in my spam box.
    Reply
  • reggieray
    I will stick with basic Gmail, turned off everything else. Has minimum adverts unlike Yahoo and the best SPAM filter I have ever seen.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    I hate Hotmail. I've never had such a problem with anything else...well, ok...I take that back. Facebook is worse. On both, I've had my account compromised a few times by hackers.
    Reply
  • enzo matrix
    JOSHSKORNI hate Hotmail. I've never had such a problem with anything else...well, ok...I take that back. Facebook is worse. On both, I've had my account compromised a few times by hackers.Then stop using dictionary words as passwords :P.
    numbers, letters AND special characters.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    All you have to do is keep an eye on your "outbox"....

    If there's crap there that you have never seen or sent before, then you've been JACKED!
    Reply
  • memadmax
    JOSHSKORNI hate Hotmail. I've never had such a problem with anything else...well, ok...I take that back. Facebook is worse. On both, I've had my account compromised a few times by hackers.
    Stop looking at porn sites then....

    Getting hacked is your own fault....
    Reply
  • jrharbort
    I noticed this new feature well over a month ago, and already had to use it for a few contacts.

    I was waiting for when something like this would finally be available. I was simply deleting or junking them before.
    Reply
  • milktea
    I see a problem...
    If your hotmail friends happen to have weak pwd/login, then the hacker could protentially use that to their advantage to froze other accounts in the contact list. Then it might give them the chance to take over the frozen account during the recovery mode. :P
    Reply
  • ProDigit10
    Yay! Let's all 'my friend as been hacked' everyone in our address book to overflow the engine, and stop hotmail from working!
    Reply