Free blocks many “compromised” subscriber email addresses

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Alejandra Rangel
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Free is in the middle of a campaign to block compromised email addresses that appear in the HaveIbeenPwned database, as reported by François Petillon, head of the ISP's email service. Emails collected by hackers to send spam, scams, or collect data on subscribers such as their banking information or any other type of sensitive personal information. Here is how to reactivate your account if it is affected by this blocking. 

An email manager at Free, François Petillon, explains on the proxad.comee.services.messagerie newsgroup (yes, newsgroups still exist!) that an “operation to block 'compromised' Free email addresses has been underway since 17-10-2018”. According to the official, the ISP would have compared the database of the HaveIbennPwned.com site – a platform created by an American security researcher which makes it possible to know whether the information associated with an email address, such as passwords, ended up in data leaks. The presence of an email address in this list implies that it is high time to change passwords, or even to activate two-factor authentication when possible.



Free blocks the email addresses of certain subscribers who appear on HaveIbeenPwned.com

The users targeted by this campaign are contacted directly after their account has been blocked. This Free page explains the reasons why the ISP is forced to proceed with these blocks: compromised accounts participate in the proliferation of spam and multiple scams. They can also lead to leaks of sensitive personal data such as subscriber banking information. In addition, Free points out that reusing the same password on dozens of accounts facilitates this kind of disappointment.

In the event of a blockage, do not panic - it will generally be possible to quickly regain access to your mailbox. Free specifies that it is possible to unblock your address yourself, in most cases via your interface for managing your account on Free.com. If it is a secondary address attached to another account, it will be necessary to go through the main account to unblock it. If applicable, Free asks the subscriber to try to identify the reason why their account is compromised, to definitively solve the problem at its source. Before sending an email to abuse@proxad.net with the subject “Compromised account”, you must prepare the following information:



  • The identifier of the compromised account
  • For each network device on which the compromised account is used (in consultation and / or in transmission), specify its type (computer / laptop / tablet / etc. under Windows / Linux / MacOS / iOS / android /…) and the report d '' antivirus / antitrojan scan
  • The complexity of the compromised password (length, lowercase / uppercase / numbers / other characters)
  • If you tend to reuse the same password on other sites / services and if you provided the compromised account as your contact email address

Have you been the victim of this blockage? Tell in the comments.



  • Read also: How do you know if your password has been hacked?


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