At 7.50 yesterday I logged onto my Gmail account in Leeds to find a message saying I’d changed my password twenty minutes before.
Twenty minutes later I got a call from a friend in Australia that I’d asked him for money to get me home from Valencia in Spain. Over the following 24 hours I have had a range of calls, mails and texts from people ranging from the frightened to the amused.
There is nothing I can do, the hacker has had detailed conversations over the web and has even spoken to one of my mates. He (and it seems it is a he) spoke with an African accent and certainly was not the Valencian hotel-keeper (he couldn’t speak Spanish).
I suspect that over 3000 people have been spammed and my issue is whether to compound the disturbance caused by re-mailing from another account. I have decided to adopt a passive strategy and give comfort to those who are worried and not send messages to everyone via linked in, Facebook and my other e-mails.
Hopefully Google will do something soon. I am concerned that despite this being reported for over 24 hours ago, google have not been in touch and as far as I am aware have done nothing to disable my account. Consequently the hacker may be sending more mails as I write.
Apparently there is a lot of this about. I sincerely hope it doesn’t happen to you and urge you to make sure your password is as secure as it can be. My password was rated strong but how strong is strong?
Not a particularly cheery mail for a Saturday morning. I wish I could write about something more pleasant like the wondrous presentation given by Terry Smith on Monday, or the hopes I have for the new year. They’ll have to wait. In the meantime, if you get a mail from henry.tapper@gmail or firstname.lastname@example.org please do not open, this account should be blocked and all correspondence with me should be addressed through linked in, to email@example.com or in the comments spaces below.
- Hackers steal 21,000 (mostly weak) user passwords from Star Wars game fan site (venturebeat.com)
- Why Your Identity Is Worth $5,000 [INFOGRAPHIC] (mashable.com)
- Tips to Increase Facebook Account Security (techmadly.com)
- 6 Password Protection Lessons Learned from the Sony Hacker Attack (savings.com)
- Phishing: They ask your password and steal your mail (skynetblogs.wordpress.com)