How did some stranger lock out my brother's MSN account?
August 26, 2004 9:40 AM   Subscribe

My 13-year-old brother uses MSN messenger a lot. Last night, a stranger popped up to speak to him, and after some taunting, told him he was going to delete his account. My brother got rid of him - and then found when he logged out, he couldn't log back in again.

What with my brother's tender age, there are a few holes in his story - has anyone heard of this happening before?

Incidentally, I've tried to retrieve the password - as I suspected this person had managed to get hold of my brother's password and was having some nasty fun - but haven't had any luck. There could be other reasons for that (him not entering the correct security information at the time of signing up, for example..)
posted by ascullion to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
Happens all the time, it's called cracking... or, as the media would say (albeit incorrectly), "hacking". Just make up a new account, use a stronger password that is a combination of letters and numbers and at least 7 or 8 characters long, and don't save your passwords on computers that you don't own. It's likely a friend of his playing a prank.
posted by banished at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2004


But how could they actually make his account disappear?
posted by ascullion at 1:09 PM on August 26, 2004


Well, how would you tell the difference between deleting the account and changing its password? (Answer: You probably couldn't.)
posted by kindall at 1:14 PM on August 26, 2004


Does MSN have a password recovery method? Like mailing to your original registered email or somesuch?
posted by milovoo at 1:45 PM on August 26, 2004


Tender age of 13? He's a script kiddie, dude! Probably responsible for those threats of taking the internet down that the Russians have been reporting. The guy on the other side was probably a secret-hacker-agent, putting an end to your brother's reign of terror!
posted by Kwantsar at 4:05 PM on August 26, 2004


MSN is the Krazy Glue of messenger products. He probably was logged in at school or something and someone stumbled across it and begin taunting him.

I teach in a computer lab, and when someone leaves msn logged in I like to start asking out everyone in the buddy list. Ok, not really, but I *thought* of doing it.
posted by mecran01 at 4:06 PM on August 26, 2004


While we're on the subject, I recently created two new AIM usernames, only to find that in both cases, I couldn't sign on with them due to "incorrect password." I told the system to mail me my password, and it said it had been sent, but I did not get it (or any other email from aol). These bastards have now allowed me to throw two names that took a while to think up into a black hole. They do not seem to have a support option that actually involves getting feedback from the company. What to do?
posted by bingo at 7:46 PM on August 26, 2004


On yahoo there was a script kiddie tool that would trying to login to your account about 50 times in 10 seconds, thus locking out your account for a time (several hours, I think). I'm guess there's probably something similar for MSN Messeger (I know you can be locked out at least for a period of time), and the kid pissed some other kid off.
posted by angry modem at 8:54 PM on August 26, 2004


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