Sunday, 9 September 2012

Hacked Email

One of the most annoying thing that could happen to an online user is hacked email.

Why is it? Hacked email account is used by hackers to flood the web with scam, phishing, virus riddled  e mails, that are designed to further hack contacts that are connected to the hacked account. It is like a virus that resides in a single cell that infects the other neighboring cells as far and as fast as it could.  This happened to me just yesterday, and I am annoyed.

How did I find out?

This email account is not really my primary email, I use this for general fun. This means I do not regularly access it, maybe twice a month at least. Upon opening the inbox messages, there were about 10 sending message failures (mailer daemon) in it, meaning I have sent something that has not reached the recipients. Knowing that I did not sent anything from this email has made me suspicious of my account being hacked.

The sent letter is coming from my email address going to my brother's address and dozens more, with content of a link URL. I did not bothered opening up the link, because I need to figure out if the hacker managed to log in with my account to send the emails. I need to make sure of this because sometimes hackers can use a spoof email that can mimic your email addres or any address making it look like the  real email from your account.

How to know if the hacker "really" had access to your account  to send the emails?

There is a built in feature of yahoo mail to find out when you have recently  accessed your account and from where. To see this feature, just click  the drop down menu after the hi, "your account name", and click account info. This will make you log in again with your password. Then under sign in security, click "view your recent sign in activity".

The device used, the time and place when  your account is accessed are shown in the list.  You can also toggle between location or  ip number just in case it is accessed in the same location but different ip numbers. Different  ip numbers would be suspicious, unless you are using your networks data tariff.

The above result has confirmed no doubt my account is hacked and been used to send spam messages to my contacts somewhere in Russia.

What to do now?

I am still lucky that I can still access my account and the hacker has not changed the password yet. It is advisable to change the password straight away when you find out somebody has access to your email. The longer and more random the password, the harder for a hacker to crack it. And that's what I did.

My thoughts

I really do not know how the hacker managed to log into my account. I have been very careful in my online activities. I suspect that this account has been hacked longtime before and it is just now that the hacker decided to use it. My password has been my password for years, and that was my mistake.

With this happened , I realised how important it is to change our passwords regularly. Another important thing is not to save sensitive informations, like passwords or any log in details, bank accounts and etc., in your email. Because when you do this and somebody managed to look into your folders, the worst happens.

Be sensible on what you click, specially those links and messages that you think that does not make sense. It maybe just be your gut feelings but if you are in doubt, DO NOT click it.

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