I own a Hotmail account which someone hacked into. I managed to get back the
password which they had changed, as they must have felt guilty and sent the new
password to my brother on MSN Messenger. I went into my account which I hadn’t
been able to get on for months – turns out they have caused a lot of trouble for
me – changed passwords for other websites which I can no longer access, sent
out personal emails to family and friends. They also contacted my friends and
family with vulgar and abusive language pretending it was me!
As you can imagine, I am very upset and angry, it has really got me down. I
have a feeling I know who it is but cannot point my finger yet. I was told that
if I contacted MSN support they could give me all of the IP numbers which
signed onto my account at that particular time, and find out who it was. Is
To be honest, I’m still fairly shocked at how often this question comes up.
Apparently there’s a lot of account hacking going on, though poor password
management is actually more likely. Regardless of exactly how, accounts are
hacked into, and havoc often results.
I’m not at all surprised that people want to track down the culprit.
Unfortunately, for most of us, I believe that the news is not good.
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Tracking down who logged into your account is highly unlikely.
There are at least two huge issues at play here:
MSN Hotmail may simply not keep that information. I mean, that’s a
lot of data that they would have to track, given the millions of
subscribers and millions upon millions of logins that happen every day. From a
purely practical point of view, I can’t imagine them keeping that information,
or if they do, keeping it for any length of time.
But, having said that, it’s certainly possible that they do, so…
They’re not about to give that information to just anyone. In fact, I would
be very concerned if they did give it if you simply asked. There are major
privacy and security issues that result if they were to provide that
information easily. There may even be possible legal liability issues for MSN
if they responded to that type of request.
practically available to us.”
The third issue is simply that the IP address may not be enough to help you
anyway. See the related articles below for more on why that might be.
So, ultimately, I believe that the information, if it exists at all, is just
not available to “mere mortals” such as you and I. In fact, you and I
want it to be difficult to get, simply to protect our own privacy in
I’ve said this before: if this type of information is available at
all, I believe it would take law enforcement or a court order to get it. So, I
suppose you could try pursuing with your local authorities, and if they find
that there’s legitimate reason to act on it, they probably can.
But my bottom line belief is that it’s simply not practically available to
Your best action is simply to learn from this, and do what it takes
to properly secure your account. Typically that means not sharing your password
with anyone, and choosing difficult to guess passwords, and where
appropriate, difficult to guess answers to your “secret question”. In my
opinion it also means not using free email accounts for anything
sensitive or important.