Yikes!!! I have no idea what went out on my email....

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by WhatchaDoin?, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2010

    My contact list has been hacked. At around 10:00 this morning, from what I can gather, everyone on my contact list received an email with an attachment. I found out because I am awful at cleaning up my contact list. There were several old addresses, which caused the emails to be returned to me.

    Once I figured out what happened, I sent an email to my whole contact list. Unfortunately, there were a couple of Board of Ed. addresses from my job search. I have no idea what was in the attachment - I wasn't going to risk clicking it.

    How does one hack into anothers' email account?

    Grrrr, what a way to start the day....
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 25, 2010

    This happened to my husband just a few weeks ago. I got an email from him about some type of "medicine" and when I logged into his email, knowing something wasn't right, I saw it had been sent to all of his contact list, which included the county judge, former bosses, family...lots of people. I sent out an apology/explanation statement as damage control. Hackers are very, very skilled.
     
  4. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Funny...I just got an email w/ a link this morning from an old college roommate who I haven't spoken to for many years. Nothing on the email, but just the link. I kind of figured that her account had been hacked into.
     
  5. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2010

    That's exactly how this one was composed. I'm on my own contact list, so I got one as well. I didn't want to click on the link, but it was something like "fast man."

    One even went to my former administrator :dizzy:
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 25, 2010

    What email service?

    Also, I advise you change your password to something more secure, as your password most likely had a word in it, or maybe it was something like bubbly123, a password like that is not secure. Try this site to generate a secure password:
    http://strongpasswordgenerator.com/

    Try a 9 or 11 character password with symbols for the most security (As people who bulk hack into emails tend to assume that it is 6 characters or so, because most people make their passwords the minimum length)
     
  7. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Are you on hotmail?? This happened to me the last week of school. Thank goodness it was only to advertise some electronic equipment and not porn! LOL! I went into my account, notified all of my friends not to open anything from me for about a week, and then changed my password to a higher security. When I got onto the Hotmail site (because of course there are no live people to help!) I see people have been complaining about this for months! I sent copies of all the hacked emails to Hotmail. So far, so good. I don't know how people do it. Do you leave your computer on all of the time or shut it down? That was another thing I decided to start doing, shut it down every night. Many of my emails came back as unable to be delivered - I think others virus/spam blockers were able to kick the emails out. Good luck!
     
  8. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2010

    This happend to me on Yahoo over Christmas break.

    The email was advertising a male -ahem- "helper" drug.

    And the email was sent to several friends, my mother-in-law, and my Catholic school administration. :thumb:

    I quickly sent an email from my school address to several people explaining how I'd been hacked.
     
  9. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2010

    This happened to me about a month ago! It was on my Yahoo! account...but the weird thing was it only sent an email to the first 5 people in my contact list. I emailed those people and let them know...then later in that day it sent another one, so I emailed them again. I changed my password and contacted Yahoo! via email...they just gave pointless tips like "change your password" uhh thanks Yahoo...
     
  10. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    Jul 25, 2010

    My gmail account did this today or last night. I have a pretty secure password, 9 characters, numbers intermixed with letters, but i changed it right away.
     
  11. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Exact same thing happened to me today! I hate it! I'm on Yahoo, and in my spam folder there are dozens of "male enhancement" pill ads and some of them appear to come from me. This time it made it into my family and friends' emails and I feel like dirt.

    My 8 year old asked me who would do that? I said, someone who likes to cause trouble. She said, they need a new hobby. Well said.
     
  12. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I have an AOL account. My password isn't easy to guess, so I'm assuming it was someone who was on top of their game. I use the "remember me" log in, but I log in from home. I've read other cases, where the hacker deleted the contact list after sending out the e-mails. Luckily, this wasn't the case. I also made sure I didn't have any messages stored with sensitive information.

    Lots of lessons learned yesterday!
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2010

    AOL has been getting hacked a lot recently, i've been getting a lot of messages from people asking me to help them with regards to their AOL emails being hacked.

    If the password was around 6 characters, it could've been brute forced somewhat quickly if there were a dictionary word.

    Or you could've visited a phishing site that stole the cookie that allows AOL to remember you.
     
  14. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2010

    The best way I've heard to make fairly strong passwords that are also memorable (because keep in mind, you need to avoid any pronounceable words, and ideally throw in some punctuation) is to take a song and make an initialization from it.

    For example, one of my old passwords was:

    PtMD;lbts

    which stood for, "Puff the Magic Dragon; lives by the sea". A dictionary search will not break that ever, and even a pure brute force would take quite a while to break it on most hardware.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    A rainbow table would break that in probably a day or so, depending on the size of the rainbow table.

    The strongpassword site I linked to gives ways to remember them, like SEVEN SONY DOGS RUN @ ONE PLACE
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2010

    This is scaring me. I have probably lived on the edge as far as password protection goes. Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I have one password (and several variations of) for most of my online activity :blush:. I have a terrible time remembering them.

    Just for fun, I tried bros's generator. Here's what I got...yeah, right, I'm going to remember this...

    8 Character:
    Your new strong password is:
    .~8G1;(i

    Remember it as:
    . ~ 8 GOOGLE 1 ; ( ipod

    :dizzy:

    Just for fun...a 21 character password
    Your new strong password is:
    {!}:{,]3^qEyn_R4^>lI6

    Remember it as:
    { ! } : { , ] 3 ^ quick ELVIS yellow nokia _ RADIO 4 ^ > laptop IPOD 6
     
  17. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jul 27, 2010

    I passed out just trying to read your password.:eek:
     
  18. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 27, 2010

    KC... your too funny.... because when I looked at your passwords those are what came to mind.

    Is this linked with apple or something I fine it funn that IPOD is used in both to remember it.
     
  19. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jul 27, 2010

    3Sons, that is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2010

    You could remember .~8G1;(i as:
    period squiggly eight googles one winking sad face ipod
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2010

    Hahahaha! I have a hard time remembering what time my eyebrow arch is on Thursday...or is it Wednesday...
     
  22. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2010

    When most users pick passwords that a dictionary search would crack in under half an hour, I'm pretty comfortable with a day or so. At least for many activities. If someone goes to that much trouble to crack my AtoZ password, then I won't object to them making posts on my behalf.

    "one squiggly eight googles winking sad face ipod" does not really seem all that memorable to me, especially when I need to memorize a half-dozen passwords of different lengths.

    For pure security, though, you're right: those passwords will be stronger than a song-initialization method.

    eta: anyway, if you're going to steal passwords, a keylogger is really a better way to go.
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2010

    man in the middle attacks are always a good way to steal a password.

    Or a cookie grabber.

    Less detectable than a key grabber.

    Or simple social engineering - plug a USB flash drive into your computer that a friend gave you, then it can email off your windows password and all passwords that you have saved.

    I've done that a few times just to see what the permissions are on a computer for the user account that is logged in, rather useful, especially in schools, since when I was observing, the printer drivers kept uninstalling somehow, so I had the administrator password memorized, so i'd install the drivers that way.
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 27, 2010

    My passwords have always been reasonably strong. Now, they have to be...at least at work. I work for a bank...they're NOT NICE when it comes to password security. I can't count the number of times I've managed to lock myself out of my computer and had to go crying to IT to get myself unlocked (and have to come up with several, new, unique passwords on the spot).

    One thing I used to do is think of something that was meaningful to me, and abbreviate it in such a way that it wasn't a word, but still made sense if you were me. For example, 18*lv.b25 (not a password I have ever used, nor one that I would currently use) I could remember because Ludwig Van Beethoven's death in 1827 is the rough boundary distinguishing the classical and romantic eras in music history. The actual "time" of the romantic era is 1825-1900, in case you wanted to know.

    It's pretty contorted, but it's a random fact I know well and could remember as a password.
     
  25. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 28, 2010

    Something memorable but not known publically (i.e. birth/death/marriage date of spouse/friend/sibling/parent or hobbies) is always a good password.

    Or one you randomly think of that is comfortable for your hand.

    A password I used about 5 years ago was @9758321!

    Very easy to do when using the numpad and the number row at hte same time
     
  26. kj2092

    kj2092 Guest

    Jul 28, 2010

    Spam emails are all over the web right now. They may not intend to ruin you personally but they are just seeking people who will they advertise with. Its really awful, especially if you have some important people in your contact list. Your account can be hacked if you are infected with viruses, adware or malware. another one is, if you accessed your account in a computer with a keylogger in it.
     
  27. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    So I checked my spam folder on gmail last night, and found a bunch of messages that said they were from "me". What does that mean?
     
  28. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Here is the response I got from Yahoo regarding my email being hacked and messages being sent to my entire address book:


    Hello,

    Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.

    It appears as though you have received one or more emails containing a
    "worm" virus. These types of viruses spread themselves by mass sending
    an email with an infected attachment to addresses found in an infected
    computer's address book, local files, etc. The virus hopes the infected
    emails reach unsuspecting recipients and entice them to open the
    attachment thus infecting the recipient's computer.

    If you feel that your account has been compromised, we encourage you to
    update your password and any other information on your Yahoo! account.
    For useful information and resources regarding online security, please
    visit the Yahoo! Security Center at the following location:

    http://security.yahoo.com

    If you are concerned that you might have contracted a virus, and you
    have anti-virus software installed, we recommend that you make sure the
    software's virus definitions are updated and then scan your computer. If
    you do not currently have anti-virus software installed on your
    computer, you might want to consider obtaining this type of software.

    Please be aware that Yahoo! Mail is a Web-based email system, and if
    you're checking your email through Yahoo!'s website, simply viewing
    email messages does not make your computer vulnerable to viruses--even
    when attachments are present. This is because your email messages,
    address book and other account information are stored on Yahoo!'s
    servers rather than on your own computer.

    However, should you choose to download an attachment by either opening
    it or saving it to your computer, your computer becomes vulnerable to
    computer viruses. The same is true for all files you download to your
    computer (whether email attachments or not), so it is important that you
    are careful when downloading attachments from both known and unknown
    sources.

    If you have updated your anti-virus software, scanned your computer and
    found that your system is clean, your computer is most likely not
    infected, but rather is receiving a virus that is attempting to spread
    itself through email. There is no way to stop the virus from attempting
    to spread, however if you are receiving multiple emails they should
    eventually subside. Until these types of messages stop arriving to your
    account, you may want to consider utilizing our filter feature to direct
    these messages to a folder of your choosing. You can find more
    information on how to use this feature at the following location:

    http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/original/manage/manage-35.html

    If you use another email program, you may want to check to see if your
    email program also has a filter feature you can use.

    If you are interested in obtaining any information regarding the latest
    viruses, please visit the virus encyclopedia at:

    http://securityresponse.symantec.com/

    Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Mail.

    Regards,

    Jeph

    Yahoo! Customer Care

    73759700

    For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:

    http://help.yahoo.com/
     
  29. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Ironically, I could not send a message to my whole address book explaining the problem because the Yahoo spambot stopped it.
     
  30. bros

    bros Phenom

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    That's a spam bot spoofing your email (very easy to do) trying to think you sent yourself those messages :p
     
  31. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Ugghhh. I just found out that my personal email was hacked when I noticed that there were failed email delivery notices in my inbox. When I clicked on them, there were about emails that I never sent. It had a link on them. I deleted all my contacts and changed my password. It sent emails to my old bosses and a couple of .edu accounts. Also, I'm scanning my computer. I have always been diligent with virus scans, etc. Ugghh.
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 22, 2010

    Doesn't have to be a virus.

    If you use that password on other sites, the other sites you use it on could've been hacked and the passwords decrypted.

    My suggestion is make a throwaway email for sites that forward to your main email.

    ALso, deleting your contacts doesn't do much of anything.

    Also, clicking links in those emails is never good.

    Go download some spyware and malware removal tools

    HiJackThis!

    Spybot: Search and Destroy

    Adaware

    get all three and run them (not at once), for hijackthis, use: http://hjt.networktechs.com/
     
  33. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2010

    Oh, I know. It just made feel good to start my contact list from scratch because I had old email addresses. I just exported them to excel.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. I clicked on the email in my sent folder not the link in the email.

    Thanks. I will try this.
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2010

    kc~I'm the same way! It's never happened to me, but I noticed that it had been happening to my sister's email. She deleted that account and created a new one on a different server.
     
  35. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 23, 2010

    And remember, universal passwords are bad. :p
     

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