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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I was hacked....

A quick blog post to apologize profusely to anyone who received a fake email from me this morning claiming that I was in the UK and had been mugged and was looking for money.  This is a fairly common scam these days, but some may not have recognized it as such.  My gmail account was hacked and it took me about an hour to work through the details with Google and now it's back to rights, but my entire list of contacts got the scam email. 

The hacker had set up a forwarding address from within my gmail so any responses (like, "Claire, is that really you?") would have gone immediately to the hacker themselves, and they could have responded and told you where to send money.  I trust nobody sent money....please no....

Anyway, the hacker also deleted my entire contacts list from gmail, so I may be missing some email addresses and will have to rebuild it slowly.

One interesting thing I've learned in this mess is that hackers are now using the security questions that one sets for recovering access.  For example, if your security question is "What city were you born in?" and your answer is a known city name, you may be in trouble.  Hackers can run lists of cities through these things and just hit on people's accounts by accessing their security answers, rather than needing to figure out passwords (which are usually more complex than the security answers).  So, it's been recommended to me that security questions should either be the "make your own" type (which are not always offered) or, if you have a limited number of options, come up with a nonsensical answer.  So if the city question is the one you pick, answer it with something that wouldn't be on a list of cities.  Like....10sheep! or something similar.  You can use such an answer for any security question that you don't set yourself, and it's much harder to hack.

Anyway, again I apologize if you got an email from me, and I'm fine, and I haven't been mugged.

Just wait until I get my hands on those goats who hacked my computer!

16 comments:

Lola Nova said...

I suspected it was a scam and was just about to try to email you to let you know when I saw you had posted.

Glad you haven't been mugged but sorry you have been hacked. It's been happening a lot lately with some friends email accounts. Thanks for the advice on security questions and here's hoping it has been solved.

Take Care!

Cat said...

You've not been mugged, but there may be mugging in the future if you find the hacker!

And yes, that is a VERY common scam. A veriation that we have to deal with here, is elderly folk getting a phone call,

"Grandma?"

Whereupon the elder says something like "Is that you, Billy?"

Now they have the fact yes, a grandparent, and said kid's name.

Then they proceed to tell the grandparent that they are in jail/hospital and need funds. Sadly, this gets a reaction well before they think to check...

Hopefully you can get everything back to snuff... Sorry to hear about the email addresses tho. I love the idea about "10sheep", and intend to share it with the Law Enforcement folk I work with...

Cat

Flartus said...

I was just coming on your site to let you know someone had probably broken into your account! I've heard about these scams on Facebook, and I know you write in better English than that email used, so no, I am not sending "you" money. Glad you got your account sorted out--sounds like Google was good to work with.

Wait a minute...you don't think it could've been...a certain goatlet you share computer access with!??? :D

(If you want my email, it's flartus at hotmail.)

Louise said...

That security question advice is very welcome. I would never have thought of using something nonsensical.

I'm sorry that you were hacked. It's got to feel terrible, and is such an invasion of privacy. Glad you have it all straightened out.

Gail said...

How sad that even friendship is not safe from hacking!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I got that e-mail from "you", too. But the exact same e-mail was sent via my cousin's gmail last year. You'd think the hackers would come up with a new and unique scam letter. lol!
I suspected it was a hoax because I rarely ever hear from my cousin, and I'm not one she would contact if she was in that type of trouble.

I figured the same for you, too.
I now feel kinda special that I was in your contact list. :)

~Lisa

edenhills said...

So sorry to hear about this. Just what you didn't need on top of not feeling well. Hope you get it all straightened out.

Teresa

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I think that it was Lucky Nickel that did it and she just wanted a savings account so she could gold plate her horns.

Knatolee said...

Sorry to hear you were hacked, but thanks for sharing that security question advice!

Texan said...

So sorry this happened, uggggg I just don't get people. Whats wrong with them. siggghhhh.

Whats unfair too is then you have to spend your time cleaning up after someone's mess! Like you have nothing better to do with your time. Like oh run your farm and study for school! grrrr

Nancy K. said...

Do you mean to tell me that that wasn't REAL???

But, I sent you a thousand dollars! I'm sure you'll want to do the right thing and refund my money....



;-)

Mom L said...

I'm really hurt, Claire! I didn't get an email from "you"!!! And, like the others who beat me to it said, I'm sure it was Lucky Nickel. She already knows how to use the computer and type your blog post, so sending email would be the next step.....

Nancy in Iowa

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

I knew you didn't send the email based on the subject line. The English was so bad! Glad you got it taken care of! And thanks for the tip on the security question.

Jennifer said...

I have seen this before, sorry to hear you had to deal with the hassle of it all.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

clair
lost your blog address for a while and have just managed to find you again
lovelyto troll through your old posts

Suzanne@ Panteg Alpacas said...

Hi , stop by my blog there is a surprise for you , thanks for all your blogs they're great