Telecom New Zealand admits YahooXtra email accounts were hacked

Telecom has admitted its outsourced YahooXtra email service has been compromised by hackers resulting in some YahooXtra customer accounts being hijacked to send out malicious email. It is advising all YahooXtra customers to change their passwords.

The company initially blamed a deluge of compromised accounts on a successful phishing attack, saying customers were tricked into clicking on scam emails, but has now acknowledged a "second attack" that was outside customers' control.

"We understand from our own technical investigations that the security of some YahooXtra email customer accounts may have been compromised, making it possible for emails to be sent from these accounts without the customers' knowledge," the company said in a statement. Telecom said it could not tell how many customers had been affected but it believed it was a small percentage of its approximately 500,000-strong customer base.