protocol7 archive
8 January 2008

The loss of an account

Today I noticed that I could no longer sign into my ICQ account. Someone has hacked it, changed the password, the password reset questions and the account details. I’ve had the account since 1995 with the same lousy password all the time so I was probably begging for this to happen. Looking through the ICQ forum, hacking accounts for selling them back seems to be a common thing. Getting any help from the ICQ support seems unlikely:

Out of the view of an hacker it is to be expected for not being in his interest to have your customized data in the aquired ICQ account. Due to that a hacker at least will probably alter profile and contact list information or even erase it in it’s whole. Therefor you may not and in no means are warranted to reaquire any ICQ account you once owned and cannot proove ownership, aswell as ICQ won’t provide any help with reaquiring an ICQ account as you always may register a new one.

Of course, registering a new account also means figuring out who was on your old friends list and add those back. In my case, I have no clue. That means their users might get tempted into buying back their accounts from hackers. This in turn makes this a lucrative market for hackers. All in all it lowers the value of the ICQ network. Why the support would not help in getting hacked accounts back is beyond me. The ICQ support should be able have the old account details, including the security questions, available which would make it possible for them to prove the ownership. However, they chose not to. As I won’t be buying back my account, that means one less account to keep track of. And one less user for ICQ, not that I was a paying customer anyways.

Instead, feel free to add me on GTalk ( or MSN (

Technorati Tags: im, icq, security

tags: Security