Email accounts from two of the world's largest email providers, Gmail and Yahoo, have also been phished according to latest reports that point to a much wider operation.
Microsoft revealed on Monday that details of thousands of Windows Live Hotmail accounts were leaked on a developer's website called PasteBin. The bounty however is believed to be nearer to 300,000 according to the Guardian.
A spokesperson for Google told SCMagazineUS.com on Monday that it took the unusual step of resetting the passwords on a number of affected accounts while Yahoo said that it was aware of a limited number of compromised email accounts.
The list was discovered initially by Tom Warren, a journalist from Neowin, who broke the story and mentions that 10,000 @hotmail.com, @msn.com and @live.com accounts starting with A and B have been posted online.
Users of the three major email services have been urged to change their passwords and their default security questions after it emerged that all the emails were collected through massive phishing operations.
Email passwords are doubly vital; firstly if the user is amongst the millions who use the same password for their other services, chances are that their Amazon credentials for example, will be the same as their email accounts.
Furthermore, and possibly more worrying, is the fact that many of these email accounts spread out to other services. Gmail for example, ties into Google Checkout, which has direct access to your credit card details.
Phishing is unfortunately a fact of life, something that happens more often than not and cannot be solved at all. It can only be contained by educating the masses as it relies on social engineering to work.