Friday, July 6, 2012

Beware, there's a hacker about ...

I apologise for occupying this space but I think we all need to be vigilant in the public domain.

Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Some of you know that I have been the victim of a cyber-criminal a couple of times.

The first was devastating, even though at least one generous person tried to send me money after I’d been mugged and robbed in Madrid. (I’ve never been to Madrid!) Google picked this one up as ‘irregular activity’ and suspended my email account for 48 hours. Meanwhile, this hacker offered, via another email account, to restore my access in return for £500.

Then there were those recent emails that I know some of you received, supposedly from me, but the sender used my user-name in a format that I never use, and those messages had no subject line. I always try to put in a subject line. There were also a few spelling mistakes and inaccurate punctuation – that should give you a clue!

Today I discover that I am not the only one within our gathering who has been similarly hacked, with an email circulated by someone we might think we know that was overtly CC-d.
Unless I’m certain about third-party confidentiality I always ‘blind-copy’ to additional recipients. This hacker didn’t.

I don’t know how these people do this.
They set up some obscure email account, find your email address, successfully guess your password, hack into your on-line contact list, and then circulate a lot of nonsense to all your friends while convincingly pretending to be you. Such messages often have a link – do not hit that – leading to a website offering weight-loss aids or drugs of dubious efficacy that might otherwise enhance your life.

Now, this is the important bit ...
We at CFC have many mutual friends and contacts so I simply post this as a warning.
If you’re at all suspicious about incoming emails that appear to come from me or CFC, if it has no subject line, it probably isn’t genuine.

Comments/advice/constructive suggestions welcome.

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