Hackers gain free access to MSN Premium

Friday, 27 February 2004, 12:54 PM EST

A flaw in Microsoft's MSN Explorer software has allowed some Web surfers to gain free access to features and services that normally cost $9.95 (£5.35) a month, the software giant confirmed on Thursday.

Programmers in mainland China discovered the flaw sometime last year, a source familiar with the exploit told ZDNet China. This person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Chinese hackers have successfully created MSN Explorer 9 premium accounts that provide free access to 30MB of online storage and a 25MB email in-box, as well as to applications such as MSN Money Plus.

The exploit takes advantage of a modified installation file in MSN Explorer 8.5 that allows Web surfers to upgrade to MSN Explorer 9 by using fake high-speed Internet accounts from Verizon Communications. The crack grants free access to MSN Explorer 9 premium services that come bundled with Verizon's DSL (digital subscriber line) service under a co-marketing deal struck in 2002.

By Wang Dan and Hai Li at ZDNet.

[ Read more ]




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