TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: MSN Site Hacking Went Undetected for Days

MSN Site Hacking Went Undetected for Days

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 4 Jun 2005 14:00:00 -0400

By TED BRIDIS AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Password-stealing software planted by hackers was
active on Microsoft's popular MSN Web site in South Korea for days
before the world's largest software company learned about the break-in
and removed the computer code.

Police investigators and Microsoft specialists are continuing to
search for clues to the culprits behind this week's high-profile
computer break-in. More details emerged Friday about the hacking,
which targeted subscribers of an online game called "Lineage" that is
popular in Asia.

Microsoft Corp. said it had cleaned the Web site,, and
removed the software code that had been planted on its news page. It
said another company that operates the MSN Korea site apparently
ailed to apply necessary software patches, leaving its server
computers vulnerable.

Security researchers at San Diego-based Websense Inc. discovered the
break-in late Sunday during routine scans it makes against more than
250 million Web sites each week looking for sources of viruses and
other infections.

A previous inspection by Websense of the MSN Korea site the evening
of May 27 did not detect the dangerous software.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I asked Lisa Minter to get the full
story on this and she has the complete report as it appeared in the
Associated Press on Friday elsewhere in this issue. PAT]

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