It appears that spammers have found a way of automatically creating Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts, having already created more than 15,000 bogus Hotmail accounts, according to security company BitDefender.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo use “captcha” systems to stop email accounts from being automatically generated; accounts aren’t created until a new user correctly identifies letters depicted in an image. Captcha systems are designed to ensure that the letters are not easily recognized by machines.

BitDefender says that a new threat, dubbed Trojan.Spammer.HotLan.A, is using automatically generated Yahoo and Hotmail accounts to send out spam email, which suggests that spammers have found a way to overcome Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s CAPTCHA systems.

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