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(Wired)   Why Yahoo's plan to release email addresses is really, really bad   (wired.com) divider line 22
    More: Obvious, Yahoo, e-mail address  
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15690 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jun 2013 at 7:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-06-19 07:23:56 PM  
4 votes:
If you used a Yahoo account to set up a PayPal or online bank account and haven't logged in in over a year I have no sympathy for you.  The reason those places require an e-mail address is so they have a way to send you a message in case they need to get a hold of your dumb ass.

I agree a year is a short time frame but having some sort of deadman switch on online accounts isn't a bad idea at all.
2013-06-19 05:56:28 PM  
3 votes:
Someone clearly didn't think this through.
2013-06-19 06:49:12 PM  
2 votes:
the company announced that on July 15, it will be "freeing up" Yahoo email addresses that have been inactive for a year or more.

Only a year? That isn't nearly a long enough time to wait.
2013-06-19 06:40:31 PM  
2 votes:

labman: Someone clearly didn't think this through.


Well, they work at Yahoo. So, yeah.
2013-06-19 05:26:31 PM  
2 votes:
This is a terrible idea.  Many websites require an email address as your login.  Unlike something like Fark, where our logins are our handles.  I'd be willing to bet a lot of people have *active* accounts out there with dormant yahoo addresses.  I think I actually do (nothing serious like a bank account.... but still.)
2013-06-19 11:20:28 PM  
1 votes:

rwa2: ha ha

I more or less migrated all of my (and my wife's) stuff off yahoo a couple years ago when those spam emails started going out to our yahoo address lists.

It was actually pretty painless. Have fun!

gmail made it much easier to forward / mirror emails to my personal server.

also took the opportunity to set up multiple gmail accounts, which are fairly easy to manage on android, etc... have separate fairly anonymous ones for websites & products (talking to bots) , mailing lists, and finally one blissfully quiet one for friends and family that's the only one I get inbox notifications for.

kinda sad because yahoo worked well back in its heyday. But good to clean house every once in a while.


I had a yahoo email for over 10 years, got quite a bit of spam the first year or so, but with some tweaking of the spam filters that was pretty much pared down from daily to a maybe once a week. Always amused me that they thought I was male & my son was female. I got all sorts of spam for ED, penile enlargement & the like, my son was getting all the breast enlargement spam.

Then somewhere along the way, around 2010ish, yahoo made some changes and suddenly our inboxes are being flooded with lots of spam while the legit email was landing in the junk folder. Tried tweaking the spam filters, didn't work. Emailed yahoo quite a few times, never heard back from them. The last night I had yahoo I had cleaned out over 60 spam emails from the inbox. The next morning there were over 150 emails in my inbox, all spam. Closed my account permanently that day and never looked back. Since it's closed it probably won't be available for someone else to take over, but if it is I hope they enjoy all the spam.
2013-06-19 11:19:34 PM  
1 votes:
This will lead to tens of thousands of cases of identity fraud.

Here's how it will work.  A bot crawls the web looking at message board postings, blog entries, and so on, from over a year ago, gathering up vast numbers of old yahoo email addresses.  Then it attempts to register all those email addresses on yahoo as new addresses.  The success rate will be, what, 10%?  Who knows.  So now some botnet has taken control of 100,000+ old yahoo email addresses.  It then contacts every other website under the sun for each of those email addresses, using each name, under the assumption that someone who made a Bigla­rry5[nospam-﹫-backwards]oohay­*co­m account probably made a Biglarry5 account on gmail or tumblr or endless numbers of other places.

So it goes to youtube or gmail or wherever, and goes to the "I lost my password" feature, under the assumption that there's a reasonable chance that Biglarry5's youtube account used bigla­r­r­y5[nospam-﹫-backwards]oo­hay*com as his email account.  Now biglarry5's youtube password is sent to the new biglarry5 yahoo account, which the bot now controls.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to get bank passwords, paypal passwords, and anything else worth real money.

The botnet will end up stealing hundreds of thousands of accounts on various places around the internet, and in the process getting many thousands of bank account passwords.

Of course, there won't just be one person or group doing this, there will be many.  I'd guess that every single yahoo email address anyone has any record of ever will have a "new account" request made for it, which means that 99+% of the recycled yahoo accounts will go to hackers.

What a great idea.
2013-06-19 09:02:16 PM  
1 votes:

Satanic_Hamster: Said this before.

It's even better.  Flicker?  That's the best example you could come up with, Mr. Article Writer?

How about Wellsfargo.com?  Ebay?  Paypal?  Amazon?  You know, websites with money and credit cards attached to them?


I have a tiny credit union for banking, although they're part of a larger network. My login is my account #, and to get in I need a captcha, personal question (1 of 5, choose your own question / hint), and pin (that doesn't match my debit pin).

To reset any of that I have to call the bank, they call me back on the phone # they have, and I have to verify last 4 of my ssn, birth date, address, and probably something else like what I had for breakfast.

Tiny credit union >> Wells Fargo apparently. Really scary to think someone could reset f--king banking info from an email.

As for ETrade, they gave my uncle number generator keychain thing
... of course only after someone accessed his account remotely.

I use a prepaid reloadable no fee travel debit card on Amazon. Peace of mind.
2013-06-19 08:54:29 PM  
1 votes:
Yahoo is just evicting squatters who haven't paid rent in over a year.  "Rent" is looking at ads and whatever other user activity Yahoo monetizes.  If you're evicted from an apartment, it's on you to change your address at your bank.  If you don't and a new tenant gets your bank statement, it's your fault.  If you leave anything behind after the locks are changed, it's no longer yours.  Usually, the landlord will throw it away before a  new tenant moves in.

OTOH, if you unknowingly move into an apartment previously occupied by a wanted criminal and the cops kick down your door because he didn't change his address at the parole office, it's a Fark headline.
2013-06-19 08:47:05 PM  
1 votes:
img.fark.net

/not my pup - he owns no clothes
2013-06-19 08:04:36 PM  
1 votes:
SDRR:
Lsherm: Oh Jesus, I use my yahoo account to register for pr0n sites.  Someone is going to be very unhappy if I let it lapse.

You register to get pron? And, how do you know they wouldn't be delighted?


I'm guessing if you register for pr0n, you get a LOT of spam and links to malware.  And I doubt Yahoo mail is any good at filtering it.
2013-06-19 07:54:58 PM  
1 votes:
15 years with Yahoo, never a single issue...


Haters will hate, and spam is NOT an issue for me, I barely get any at all.
2013-06-19 07:44:31 PM  
1 votes:

cameroncrazy1984: labman: Someone clearly didn't think this through.

Well, they work at Yahoo. So, yeah.


Y! is an H1B mill. It's not full of industry experts. It's a bunch of visa/green card drones and managers who can't find work elsewhere.
2013-06-19 07:44:16 PM  
1 votes:

relaxitsjustme: If you used a Yahoo account to set up a PayPal or online bank account and haven't logged in in over a year I have no sympathy for you.


Agreed.  I think the people who let this happen should take the heat.  I lost my designated junk mail Hotmail address once, fortunately it was still available when I took it back.  It can't be that important to you if you never login.
2013-06-19 07:25:21 PM  
1 votes:

Ecobuckeye: Satanic_Hamster: Said this before.

It's even better.  Flicker?  That's the best example you could come up with, Mr. Article Writer?

How about Wellsfargo.com?  Ebay?  Paypal?  Amazon?  You know, websites with money and credit cards attached to them?

Flickr is more likely to be associated with a yahoo account and readily searchable. Once you have the address, then you go looking for other websites that will accept it on a "forgot my login" prompt. It really is that easy, and that bad of an idea.


Doesn't a Flickr account require a yahoo login?

Therefore, if you are releasing the yahoo account, just zap out the Flickr pics associated with that account.
2013-06-19 07:20:35 PM  
1 votes:

Satanic_Hamster: Said this before.

It's even better.  Flicker?  That's the best example you could come up with, Mr. Article Writer?

How about Wellsfargo.com?  Ebay?  Paypal?  Amazon?  You know, websites with money and credit cards attached to them?


Flickr is more likely to be associated with a yahoo account and readily searchable. Once you have the address, then you go looking for other websites that will accept it on a "forgot my login" prompt. It really is that easy, and that bad of an idea.
2013-06-19 07:17:56 PM  
1 votes:
I forget their handle but who was that jackass that always tried to white knight Yahoo in threads?  I mean there's blatant astroturfing but this was a level beyond.  It will be amusing to see if they pop up any ways, it'll be pretty obvious.
2013-06-19 07:14:24 PM  
1 votes:
I don't see how I could possibly get more spam on my yahoo account than I do now but sure go ahead.
2013-06-19 07:10:13 PM  
1 votes:
If someone gets my yahoo address they could then access my fark account. What if they did that, then posted something relevant, coherent and thought-provoking?

My reputation would be ruined.
2013-06-19 07:08:13 PM  
1 votes:
Oh hell I only made a yahoo em to access flicker and haven't used it since : (
2013-06-19 05:56:07 PM  
1 votes:
Oh Jesus, I use my yahoo account to register for pr0n sites.  Someone is going to be very unhappy if I let it lapse.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-06-19 05:20:39 PM  
1 votes:
You could, for example, find a dormant Flickr account, which previously required a Yahoo email address.

That was my idea in the original thread. Some teen's long-forgotten stash of self-portraits is out there waiting for a caring man to cherish them.
 
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