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Better late than never... Xtra security warning

14 Feb 2013

Telecom has finally initiated a password change program to fix problems with Yahoo Xtra customer email accounts that have been compromised by the recent cyber attack.

Both parties say around 5% of email customer accounts have been sending malicious emails – most likely without the customer’s knowledge, after their email account was accessed.

Yahoo has denied that access has been gained to any user information beyond email addresses within a customer’s account, telling Telecom there is no evidence to support such suggestions.

Telecom CEO Retail Chris Quin says both companies are in continuing dialogue, which is about time, guaranteeing a change in password would stop the malicious emails.

“We would like to thank the around 5,000 affected customers who have changed their passwords in recent days," he says.

"Yahoo has assured us that malicious emails are no longer being sent from these accounts.”

The telco will shortly commence a process of progressively contacting the remaining affected customers and asking them to change their password immediately, despite the first attacks coming over a week ago.

An email will be sent from Telecom to affected customers and will not contain any links, which would have been rather ironic.

“Our aim is to manage the password change process as effectively as possible and make it easy for customers to complete the process online themselves at Telecom’s secure website,” Quin says.

“If customers are not able to personally change their password within around 24 hours of our notification, we have a contingency process in place which will require customers to change their password the next time they access their email account.

"This process will be outlined in the email advice we are sending to our customers.

"However we think it’s much better for our customers to regularly manage their password change process and we urge them to make this change as soon as they receive our email advice.”

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