Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Ohio - USA, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    294
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Passwords (All Browsers/Email Clients)

    Does anyone know where passwords are stored? For example, if I use Outlook Express, how does a hacker get into my email; same question if I use Netscape Mail or something else? I have become very interested lately in where this information is stored. For example, say I sign up for ACNINC.net to be my ISP and I go through the process of establishing a user name and password. Where is that information stored - I know it is somewhere on my computer but it must be out there somewhere else for others to obtain access and cause all this havoc. Hypothetically, if once I have established that account, I send an email to joesmith@aol.com who happens to be a hacker of otherwise not se nice person, is there anything anywhere in the headers, etc. of that email, that gives Old Joe the information he needs to access my email?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Passwords (All Browsers/Email Clients)

    E-mail headers should never contain passwords, ever ever. They almost always contain your username, of course, and sometimes might contain your pop mail server name. All 3 are needed to retrieve mail.

    Each program seems to store its passwords in a different place. For Outlook, the mail account username and password are stored in the registry (if you let the program save them). If you connect to your ISP using a "dial-up networking" connection, rather than a specific program provided by your ISP, I would guess that your dial-up username and password are saved where MS stores network configuration information. (I can only guess because on my Windows 2000 system, I can't find it!)

    Have you had a problem with a hacker getting into your mail? Since most POP3 servers do not encrypt your login session, there are a variety of places along that line that your password could have been sniffed. Also, mail passwords often are weak, so upgrading your password to one that is 15 or more characters and combines letters, numbers, and typographical symbols, will reduce the likelihood that it is broken. Last but not least, of course, the physical security of your mail after you download it depends on how you set up your computer. In many cases, these are not protected by any password at all.

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Ohio - USA, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    294
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Passwords (All Browsers/Email Clients)

    Yes, it did happen and I would like to be able to look to see how it happened. My feeling is that someone used the ISP's website which offers webmail to clients when they are away from their computers. That being the case, if someone knew my username - which would end up being my email address, how could they get in that way w/o my password. I will grant that it is possible to try name after name after name after name and take a chance that one of them may work - i.e., street name, nickname, etc., etc., but can't believe anyone would waste that much time so I have to beieve it is showing up somewhere on email messages from me to someone .

    Makes sense?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Passwords (All Browsers/Email Clients)

    There's always the possibility that your computer got infected with a password sniffing trojan at some point and it absconded with your mail password. It's also possible that you used the same password for an account at an e-com site and someone stole their database. There are so many ways to lose a secret...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •