How it was done (unconfirmed reports):
A hacker managed to guess the security question of his hotmail account. He then managed retrieve his password and use the same password to get into his file-sharing service.
Don’t let it happen to you
When you have to choose a security question, use a question and answer that can never be guessed or discovered. For example, if the question is ‘What is the name of your math teacher in high school?' Choose a ridiculous name like ‘Bart Simpson’. Obviously, it needs to be something that no one will guess but that you will still remember 3 years later.
Hackers will sometimes gather as much information about the target as possible including, pet names, names and birthdays of loved ones, etc. They will then use that information to compile a list of possible passwords using combinations of names and numbers (from birthdays and dates).
To protect yourself, do the following:
- Don’t use a common password like ‘password’
- Don’t use your pet name, name of a loved one, birthday’s or any other important dates or even a combination of these.
- Choose a different password for every account. That way, if a hacker gets into one account, the damage will be limited.
- Use security questions as described above.