email hacking statistics

Discussion in 'Email Discussions' started by popowich, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    What percentage of free email accounts do you think are hacked / phished / compromised each year?

    What do you think the odds are of any given email account getting hacked during it's existence?

    Which security features, such as 2 or more factor authentication, do you think most help to prevent compromises.

    I'm working on some rough statistics but I'm curious to see some educated guesses.
     


  2. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Based on the stuff we see all the time here at EQ it's a whole lot but the sample is obviously skewed.

    I'd venture to say a vast majority is the users own fault not through actual fault of the service (Hotmail, Gmail, etc). Phishing or simple passwords are the two biggest culprits, IMHO.

    I did try two factor authentication with Gmail. What headache everything that connects to your Google account needs a special password that includes IM clients for Google talk. My iPod (3 passwords! Mail app, Gmail app, and Beejive IM), phone, etc. I turned it off after a week. I use random passwords with 16 or 18 characters every where so I'm doing better than probably 80% of people.
     

  3. foggy

    foggy Valued Member

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    Hi, Ray

    Happy New Year !! :)

    I have no educated guess, but I will say that I had no sooner skimmed through several online articles on password safety (length and complexity) than I logged in to EQ and saw this post ! I had been thinking about how most of my email providers allow for passcodes of 20+ characters [Gmail, FastMail, myOpera, Hushmail], while Hotmail/Live only allows 16 characters. Odd, that perhaps the most attacked & hacked email provider out there 1) has the shortest maximum password length I know, 2) does not allow special keyboard characters ($, %, #, @, etc.) for the security question answer, whereas Gmail and others do, and 3) has no two-step authentication (though they do allow cell-phone for password reset). I would think Hotmail would want to lead in the email security dept., not lag behind ! :rolleyes: They do have a "trusted PC" option, which would work for me (since I only access the web on my home desktop), but that's only for IE users, as I understand it.

    On second thought, I think I will take a(n) (un) educated guess:

    1. Hacked/compromised/phished each year: 10% ??
    2. Hacked during lifetime: 1 out of 100 ??
    3. Best prevent compromises: 2-step auth., trusted PC, lock-out after several failed login attempts ??


    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what answers you come up with. They're undoubtedly going to be far more accurate than my far-flung guesses. :)
     
  4. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Here is a story about another online retailer getting hacked :

    Zappos.com hacked; 24 million customers affected – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

    "... hackers gained access to customers' names, e-mail addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, and the last four digits of credit card numbers and encrypted passwords."

    Simple passwords should not take long to crack, and paired with email addresses there is a great chance many working email address + password can be generated for the free sites such as Hotmail.
     

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