Hotmail breach investigated by parliament

The recent phishing attack that led to Hotmail and Gmail users’ account details being posted on the internet is to be investigated by a parliamentary committee.

Representatives from the local Microsoft offices will attend hearings of the Communications committee, along with people from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Symantec, McAffee and the NSW Police.

A committee member has told tech site ITWire that the Hotmail breach will be brought up in the hearings, along with questions about how such attacks can be avoided in the future.

Committee chair Belinda Neal said the exposure of businesses to cybercrime will become much larger as more trade is conducted online.

“The Internet is rapidly expanding at the same time that broadband speeds will increase, so we must stay on top of the security issues,” she said. “Policy- and law-makers need to join with the internet service providers, IT companies, domain name registrars, law enforcement and consumers in a candid dialogue about roles and responsibilities.”

Microsoft first identified the phishing attack over the weekend, and quickly updated an official blog to warn users to change their passwords or risk their account details being released.

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