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[teacherartexchange] Off Topic - Recent new wave of Spam - "Hacking" into email accounts


From: Judy Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 10 2010 - 09:17:30 PDT

Greetings Art Teachers and List Moderators,

I know some of you have had the same thing happen that happened to my
Yahoo account a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, I had already
removed most of my contacts in that account. As far as I know, only
one email was sent out (sent to "undisclosed recipients" and to all
still in my contacts folder). I discovered it in my Spam folder on
this Gmail account several days later - and then checked Junk folder
in Road Runner Web Mail Online. I checked the header and it was indeed
sent from my Yahoo account - although I didn't check the IP. I logged
onto my Yahoo account, and it was in the sent folder. Nothing else was
disturbed. Of course, I changed my password - and everything else that
had a similar password.

I did some Googling to see how that might have happened. I don't have
any passwords saved on my machine - and run all sorts of anti-spy-ware
software. My machine is clean. None of the forums/blogs gave any clue
as to how this could have happened - except that it was highly
unlikely that the account was hacked. A recent Lima News article
mentioned a mal-ware program that masquerades as a free anti-spyware
program. Rather than protecting your machine from Spyware, it grabs
passwords and sends to another location. I don't recall the name of
the software now - but there are false pop-ups that warn you your
machine is infected then suggests the user download the software for
free to remove the bugs. It is likely someone had installed that
program (or one like it) on the machine I used several days before the
Spam email was sent.

The only conclusion I came up with is that a machine I used at another
location had some mal-ware/spyware stored that grabbed my password and
log-in ID and sent it to another location. If you do not log out of a
Yahoo account, the system can keep you logged into your account on
that machine for two weeks. I went into my options for Yahoo mail and
changed that to log me out each day (if I don't click Log Out at each
session myself).

If someone actually hacked into that account, it seems to me they
would have done more damage - sent out more emails. Only one was sent
and I didn't discover that until several days later when I dumped my
Spam on this account (I always check the Spam folder before deleting -
just in case wanted mail has been sent there). I was not even home
when the email was sent.

So... word to the wise.... Be cautious about using your email accounts
on machines you do not control. Be sure to log out each day - or each
session when you do open your email.

Thank you to moderators who understand and do not remove list members
for something they had no control over. This same rash of Spam is
happening in all Yahoo Groups. I don't remember now if I have seen
many posts to Getty list. I recommend Moderators contact the
individuals off list to notify them. They may not know the Spam was
sent (if they don't have a lot of contacts in their mail program).


Judy Decker

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