I have lost my MyOpenID account that I use to login to Stack Overflow; I suddenly receive a message declaring that there is no account holding my username or email on MyOpenID.

I am not sure what is the problem here; it might be a hacker attack or something. What I know is my account on Stack Overflow is still associated with my email account and I can recieve recovery messages from SO. But those recovery messages ask me to login throught my MyOpenID account again...

I am not able to find an email that I can use to contact the SO support team. How can I recover my account?

  • Just checked. Happened for me too. Strangely only the secondary OpenID was affected.
    – mario
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:57
  • 2
    Happened for me as well. Signing up again with the same info gave me the same privileges again.
    – jzd
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 23:29
  • Happened to me as well. Was not able to "recover" details, but signed up with same credentials and everything seems to be restored. Is it possible to migrate to a different authenticator but keep all details and reputations on the various SE sites?
    – SabreWolfy
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 15:36
  • I have the same problem! I cannot log in to SuperUser but I still have my cookie for StackOverflow and Meta.SO. Email address is not recognized for password recovery.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 23:39
  • The same thing happened to me on the 22nd of April. My OpenId simply vanished without a trace :S. Fortunately my home desktop had a saved session to SO where I added an alternative openId (Google) and swapped it to primary. I am baffled by how my OpenId dissappeared :\
    – MalsR
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 20:56

4 Answers 4


I hit the same problem 5 minutes ago. MyOpenID claims that my account didn't exist, and I was not able to recover it via "Recover your account" as it didn't recognize my email address. They offer no support, so there was little recourse.

The worrying part: I was able to register a new MyOpenID account under the same username and was immediately able to login as "me" (samplebias) on StackOverflow and post this answer.

I recommend switching to another provider with solid infrastructure and support as their primary, and possibly unlink myopenid.com from their account.

  • 17
    that's definitely disturbing. We have something in the works. Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 20:20
  • This has happened to me too; oh God, badges are at stake!
    – Uticensis
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 1:03
  • 5
    I just got rid of MyOpenID totally. I don't want someone who isn't me becoming a moderator that looks like me :)
    – user50049
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 12:03
  • 1
    Happened to me too. +1 for "switching to another provider with solid infrastructure".
    – Flash
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 4:37
  • 3
    When changing, beware that copying one's profile to other accounts does not copy the OpenID details.
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 11:31

I got a response from JanRain (MyOpenID operators):

Hi Jeff,

This issue was due to the Amazon outage last week, not a bug in MyOpenID. The service has now been restored to normal operations.

At this point, all missing accounts that could be restored have been. We did have to revert to a previous snapshot, so unfortunately a few newly created accounts were permanently lost due to the Amazon outage. Those users will need to recreate their accounts.

Jason Cowley, Software Engineer, Janrain, Inc.

  • 1
    Thanks, @Jeff. I hope that Janrain realizes this is not a satisfactory response: it does not address the vulnerability that was created during the window when MyOpenID was down (where peoples' accounts could be hijacked by anyone who tries to create an account with the same name), and does not state what MyOpenID will do to ensure that it never happens again. MyOpenID has lost my trust and confidence; this was a very serious security breach, and they don't seem to show any sign that they recognize the seriousness of the failure.
    – D.W.
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 4:41
  • @d.w. it's definitely not good Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 5:28

This happened to me too. The only hint I have been able to find about this is in this tweet. Apparently this has something to do with Amazon's cloud outage.

  • 2
    If its related to Amazon cloud, then we have in fact three "gear providers" at stake for using one service like stackoverflow. not mentioned the "usual" providers as there is no fuss about them :-). With every service that is incooperated into the chain, availability and security weakens. As the web get more fine grained intervowen like that, the single service need to get more reliable. I hope that thinking gets more common...
    – dronus
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 19:59
  • 4
    @dronus According to whois.domaintools.com/myopenid.com (click the "Server Stats" tab), the IP location is "Virginia - Ashburn - Amazon.com Inc".
    – uTubeFan
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 3:09
  • That might explain the problem, but it is still strange that the site is up but the accounts are missing and it allows creating the same ids. I would expect them to at least not allow recreation.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:36

The same thing happened to me. I was able to recover it today though. Like Jeff said, some accounts were recoverable due to it being on a VM snapshot. I guess mine was on that snapshot. If you can't recover it still, you should be able to just recreate your account using the same information, and all of your Stack Overflow (or any of their other linked sites) information should be properly tied to your account.

Amazon cloud, that explains it!

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