Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hotmail's security overrides the right of way.

By The Doctor

After nearly seven years of trust and conversation, photos and security, address books and advertisement, one dedicated user of
www.hotmail.com 's free email lost it all after his email and ebay accounts were hacked.

“It’s obviously a hacker,” said Brad Luttrell, a 19-year-old college student at the University of Kentucky. “All within the same time span, I lost my ability to sign into my ebay account, and email which both had the same password.”

Luttrell has had the account,
luttrell12@hotmail.com, since his 7th grade year.

“My number in baseball was 12,” Luttrell said.

Through that one account, Luttrell depended on emails from his job at the school news paper, his upcoming internship (which he says he now doesn’t even know the address of his supervisor), and ran his blog, thedoctorbrad.blogspot.com.

Hotmail has responded to Luttrell’s relentless pursuing of his email, only to ship him from one helpless advisor to another.

“It’s as if the next person I speak with is more powerless than the one I spoke with the first time,” Luttrell said. “They all said the same thing, to forget it and get another. Some help.”

Hotmail gave Luttrell a list of commands, which in the end resulted in the old “forgot your password” routine that everyone who uses hotmail, knows by heart.

“That’s just it, I can’t get my secret question to work, and I’ve had so many different ‘alternate emails’ since 7th grade that I cannot figure out what my alternate email address is,” Luttrell said.

After a series of emails, a mysterious Jerome addressed Luttrell to answer 13 questions as truthfully as possible, and then his email would be unlocked. Luttrell complied to the 13 questions (which are listed below) and was surprised with a response from yet another character when he was informed that he would not be allowed back into his account and must just get over it and get another account.

1. The first and last name
2. The sign in name you are having difficulties with
3. Your date of birth in the form "month/date/year"
4. Your country or region
5. Your state
6. Your ZIP or Postal Code
7. The appro! ximate date of the last time you successfully signed in
8. The exact Microsoft Passport Network site you last visited on your last successful sign in (Example: MSN Hotmail, MSN Messenger, MSN Chat, MSN Games)
9. The approximate date you registered the account
10. A list of as many personal folders you have created in the account aside from the default folders of Hotmail (Example: Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items)
11. The name of your current Internet Service Provider (ISP) and any past ISPs you have used
* An ISP is a company that provides an end user with a connection to the Internet and other similar services, such as e-mail. Examples include MSNIA, EarthLink, and Comcast.
12. The name of the organization that you access the Internet from, if you access the Internet from outside your home
13. The IP address for each computer that you use for the account

Luttrell didn’t back down. He has replied relentlessly and has gotten no response after the final email. The email read that hotmail would no longer give any additional support and for him to simply move on.

After sending 5 emails before 11 a.m., Luttrell has begun to realize Hotmail’s help service is nothing more than its simple compliance to legal formality. Hotmail is unwilling to help it’s veteran users, and refuses to respond now, despite the fact that Luttrell was able to tell them every extra folder ever created on the account, every email that was in the inbox, and the types of emails he was getting.

Luttrell explained that he has an ebay account setup through his email and that he can even activate ebay’s forgot your passwords to be sent to that email. Nothing.

Luttrell decided that the only chance he has left, is to get help from his blog viewers. Maybe if he posted on his blog (which has been set up for months now, and came along long before this problem), and could get his responses and comments sent to his account, that maybe, just maybe he could prove the account was his.
“All I’m asking is that people send their comments because they will go to that email. All comments are sent there. Send five at a time, maybe even seven if you’re feeling froggy. I just need help. I obviously can’t do it alone, so maybe if my friends and readers jump in and help, the dopes at hotmail will see the truth. That’s all I’m asking for, just the 33 seconds it takes to send a comment,” Luttrell said.

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Editor's Note:
Brad Luttrell's opinions express that of himself, and although he is very outspoken about the fact that hotmail has cheated him, oppressed his situation, and chosen to be a corporate monster and forget about the people who make up its system of business, The Doctor supports Luttrell in every way. He only asks that you take the situation serious enough to leave a comment, or two. Don't let The Man win.

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