Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2015 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Yahoo Mail Fail

30 January 2013

Wow, I've never had an of my machines or accounts hacked before - but it had to happen sooner or later.

Yesterday I received an email from a friend who often provides useful links to interesting stuff online.

Given that it was from a trusted source and that it was not unexpected that his email was just a quick note suggesting I visit a webpage, I clicked on the link.


I was somewhat confused when I saw that the page he linked to was a bogus news report containing what appeared to be a covert plug for MLM schemes dressed up as a fake page from MSNBC. However, I didn't give it much more thought; it was late and I was tired.

This morning I woke up to find that I had some email bounces and a couple of people had emailed me to say "I think you've been hacked", quoting the same email I'd received from a friend the night before.

Yep, the zero-day YahooMail XSS vulnerability had been exploited to gain access to my YahooMail account.

Unfortunately, although Yahoo did try to patch the vulnerability earlier this month, the problem persists and anyone with a YahooMail account is vulnerable.

Having the most "up to date" browser and security patches won't help you one jot.

Just about the only step you can take to avoid getting hit are to log out of your YahooMail session as soon as you've finished reading/sending email and make sure you don't open any new webpages while a YahooMail session is active.

Of course you could try turning off Javascript -- but then your YahooMail account won't work anyway :-(

So, if anyone has received an email from my YahooMail address suggesting you go look at a website -- delete it!

Sigh... sometimes I long for "the old days" when HTML was just HTML and, although pages were bland and ugly -- at least they were benign.

The mainstream media seem to have been pretty quiet about this one -- which I find odd, since the exploit is becoming widely exploited.

So, just the one column this morning -- because I'm busy making sure that there were no stored emails in my Yahoo account that may have contained information relating to passwords or other data that could compromise my other accounts.

Come on Yahoo... this exploit has apparently been around for months and you still haven't patched it (properly)?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines


Apart from the kind support of the sponsor, Aardvark Daily is largely a labour of love that involves many hours of hard work each month. If you appreciate the content you find here (or even if you don't) then please visit the sponsor and also feel free to gift me a donation using the button above.

Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.


Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

Tech failure and war
GPS (the global positioning system) has become an essential part of our modern lives...

Publishers versus ad-blockers
The war between Net publishers and those using ad-blockers is starting to heat up...

Communications ideas that tanked
When I visited the USA back in 2003 I marveled at a piece of communications technology that seemed like a really good idea...

Send a message by referendum
By now, we will have all received the voting papers for the first of two referenda on the choosing of a new flag...

Happy Birthday Windows(TM)
It was 30 years ago today that Microsoft rolled out the first version of Windows...

Anonymous versus daesh
The war against terror has moved onto the internet's centre stage...

Happy Birthday 4004
Boy, do I feel old! ...

Kiwi VPN users to face $25,000 fine
The government has announced its intention to start levying GST on imported goods as of October 2016...

daesh, not ISIS
The daesh terror attacks of this weekend will doubtless be used by governments around the world as further justification for destroying the rights of the formerly free nations of the world...

Our discriminatory democracy
I have been trying to get a meeting with my local MP for several months now...

US court ruling may be a blessing for Kim Dotcom
A federal appeals court in the USA has ruled that a digital transmission is not an "article" -- ie: a tangible item...