If you use a Hotmail account as your primary email service, you might want to consider changing your password sooner rather than later, in case your account was one of the thousands that had the details posted online.
Tech blog neowin.net has posted reports about a Windows Live Hotmail security breach that has resulted in the account details - notably passwords - of thousands of Hotmail accounts being posted online.
According to neowin, the list was posted last week at pastebin.com, "a site commonly used by developers to share code snippets." While the details have since been removed from the site, the blogger claimed to have seen the list himself, and confirmed its authenticity, saying that "most appear to be based in Europe." The list in question contained more than 10,000 accounts with names from A to B, which would perhaps suggest that further lists exist covering the rest of the alphabet.
The details cover all accounts that connect to Windows Live Hotmail, which includes @hotmail.com, @msn.com and @live.com addresses. A Microsoft spokesman told the BBC that the company had "been made aware of the claims that Windows Live IDs and passwords have been made available on the web ... [w]e're actively investigating the situation and will take appropriate steps as rapidly as possible."
If you're still using a Windows Live-based email, the odds that you're one of the few affected are rather slim - besides, since you're obviously tech-savvy by virtue of your presence on this site, you're far too smart to fall for phishing scams, right? Still, it couldn't hurt to maybe change your password and security question... just to be on the safe side.
UPDATE: Oh dear. According to the Beeb: "BBC News has seen a list of more than 20,000 more names and passwords that have been posted online.
The list contains e-mail addresses and passwords from Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and other service providers."
Even if you're not the type to be caught by a phishing scam, it seems like now is the time to change your email password.