More than 17K Hotmail Users Start the Year with a Headache
Article by George Norman
On 06 Jan 2011
New Year’s was a time when pretty much all of us were celebrating the end of one year and the start of another - most of us on Gmail or Yahoo! Mail that is. A grand total of 17,355 Hotmail users on the other hand had some other problems on their hands. Starting with the 30th of December, the contents of their mailboxes simply disappeared. Everything just vanished – received messages, sent message, the lot.

The problem was solved a few days later, on the 2nd of January. In the meantime over a thousand “help, my inbox is missing!” threads showed up on the Windows Live Solution Center.


“Beginning on December 30th we had an issue with Windows Live Hotmail that impacted 17,355 accounts. Customers impacted temporarily lost the contents of their mailbox through the course of mailbox load balancing between servers. We identified the root cause and restored mail to the impacted accounts as of January 2nd,” commented Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Windows Live, Chris Jones.

Jones went on to say that the incident will be investigated thoroughly. Measures will be taken to ensure such an unfortunate event will not happen again. It’s never fun when something goes awry and more than 17,000 accounts lose their mailbox contents.

“We’re very sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused to you, our customers and partners,” added Jones.

And since we’re on the topic of emails, be weary of emails that claim to originate from Microsoft, emails that invite you to update your operating system. Sophos, company that specializes in providing antivirus, anti-spam, spyware removal software, network and internet security, has detected spam messages that invite users to update their Windows operating system, spam messages that contain an attached file called That attachment is nothing but a worm.

“Cybercriminals are up to their old tricks, spreading malware under the disguise of a critical security patch from Microsoft,” commented Senior Technology Consultant with Sophos, Graham Cluley. “In the current example, they've spammed out an email containing a worm, which even quotes the real name of a senior member of Microsoft's security team - Steve Lipner - to try to fool you into believing it is genuine. Of course, Mr Lipner has nothing to do with the emails and Microsoft never distributes security updates via email attachments.”

Tags: Microsoft, Windows Live Hotmail, Hotmail
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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More than 17K Hotmail Users Start the Year with a Headache
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