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Hacked E-mail

by on February 21, 2011

Many of you may have received an E-mail message from me last night that included some spam message about drifting apart or money problems or something like that.  The english is terrible and there’s some crazy link included so it should be obvious that it’s not me.  But just to be sure…

I did not send it.

After a quick heads-up from a buddy of mine, I did a bit of digging into it this morning.  I noticed dozens of “Failed Delivery” notices in my Spam folder but nothing in the Sent box.  The notices included names scattered throughout my Contacts List so I assume it went to everyone.  Shit!

Access to my Contacts means they got access to my Username and Password.  This gave them access to my primary Yahoo E-mail (sean.okamoto@yahoo.com) and my business account hosted by Yahoo (sean.okamoto@airisenviro.com).  Double shit!

I immediately changed my password but I knew this wouldn’t be enough.  I went online to research the subject a bit.  Here are some good articles on the subject:

  1. http://ask-leo.com/someones_sending_email_that_looks_like_its_from_me_to_my_contacts_what_can_i_do.html
  2. http://ask-leo.com/is_changing_my_password_enough.html
  3. http://ask-leo.com/someones_sending_from_my_email_address_how_do_i_stop_them.html

This Leo guy seems to know what he’s talking about and explains it well.  It was very useful and I incorporated all of his recommendations.

I’m now taking this to the next level.

I already track all of my account logins, passwords, and security questions in a “little black book” that I keep in a fireproof safe here at home and a backup copy offsite but there’s so much more that can be done.

  1. Many of my existing passwords are usually short, say 4 to 8 characters.  I’ve recently signed up for online access to several new accounts and all now require a longer password that included lower and upper case letters, numbers, and a special character (@, $, #, etc).  I’m changing all accounts to this new format.
  2. I set my Calendar to remind me to change my passwords periodically-Say quarterly for low risk accounts like my water bill or electricity to monthly for high risk accounts like by banking.
  3. My home wi-fi is 128-bit secured but the pass phrase is less than a dozen characters so it is not impossible to crack.  It’s being changed now to a randomized “non-pass phrase” security.

I’m sure there’s more I can do but for now, it will suffice.  With all of my stresses, I don’t need this kind of crap to take up my time.

In any case, I apologize to any of you that may have received one of this malicious E-mails.

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