SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft has had its retail web site in India hacked, with a Chinese group posting what look to be usernames and passwords on the web site.
Microsoft's Indian retail website, run by Quasar Media, was taken offline on Monday after a Chinese group calling itself Evil Shadow Team claimed to have gotten hold of usernames and passwords for web site accounts. According to one of the hackers the data had been stored unencrypted.
Quasar spokesman Rahul Roy didn't seem to have a clue what was going on, telling Reuters, "I am not sure when the site will be up again or what happened." Reassuring stuff.
Microsoft had slightly more information, saying it is currently investigating "a limited compromise" of its Indian online store. A spokeswoman for the firm said, "The store customers have already been sent guidance on the issue and suggested immediate actions. We are diligently working to remedy the issue and keep our customers protected."
If Quasar did keep users' account details in plaintext it will be an embarrassing episode for Microsoft, which tries hard to shake off its less than stellar image regarding security. The firm will be expanding its online retailing activities with Windows 8, which will feature an application store. Punters will just have to hope that by then Microsoft will have learned how to keep their data under wraps. µ