CNET News.com: Microsoft plugs security hole in WebTV

“Microsoft was forced to plug a security hole found in its WebTV
email server, the latest in a series of email bugs and other
software glitches.

Yesterday, an error in a setting for WebTV email servers
resulted in some subscriber email revealing normally hidden user
–including an identification number that WebTV
assigns to each subscriber. Critics said the flaw could
potentially be exploited to terminate a customer’s WebTV
, for instance–but Microsoft downplayed such concerns
because of the limited scope of the problem.

The company said the only emails to reveal subscriber
information were those returned back to the original sender, as the
general WebTV mailbox was too full to accept more messages…”

“…the WebTV glitch comes at an inopportune time for the
software giant. Microsoft has been scrambling to reassure its
Hotmail email users of its commitment to security in the face of a
recent string of bugs and snafus. The most notable glitch, which
brought the Hotmail system down on August 30, allowed even the most
inexperienced of malicious Web hackers to easily access
password-protected email accounts.”

“Although MSN’s Hotmail service and WebTV are two separate
Microsoft properties, the two groups are expected to become more
tightly integrated in the future. Plus, as e-commerce becomes more
popular in general, many potential online customers are watching
carefully to see how major companies treat user privacy, analysts
warn. Snafus now may result in stunted online sales over the next
few years…”

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