Microsoft’s reputation is unlikely to be dented by a security breach to its Hotmail email service that forced it to shut down its service to 50 million users on Monday.
Hackers Unite, a team of seven programmers, is one group that has claimed responsibility for the security hole, claiming it was a way of showing up the poor security on Hotmail.
They wrote a piece of code that enabled a user to gain access to anyone's mail account within Hotmail without needing a password. Security experts believe this security hole was left over after development work.
Microsoft managed to fix the problem in a few hours. Analysts said that the security breach created nothing more than a public relations headache for the software giant and was unlikely to dramatically affect consumer perception or its share price.
“There was a big furore for a short time, but it will not affect Microsoft,” Andy Brown, an analyst with IDC told VNU Newswire. “Of course it was a big story because of the company’s profile, but this could have happened to anyone who offers a free email service.”
“It took some very skilful hackers to pull the security breach off, but Microsoft plugged it very quickly,” he added.
When the news broke on Monday, Microsoft’s stock dipped only one per cent, considerably less than other technology companies on Nasdaq.
In a statement Microsoft said that Hotmail is now back to normal and it is committed to improving the service in coming months.
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