(wow, a new blog!)
From time to time we all get those emails that say “Help! I’m stuck in some foreign country and need you to send me some money”, but I’d never really known anyone who got phished until last week.
It started with an email from my brother that said:
This wouldn’t be as funny if it wasn’t for the fact that I was at his house, on his computer when I read it. Yeah, irony. We all had a good chuckle, and then I suggested he better log in and send everyone a note to say he wasn’t really in Scotland. He sluffed it off for a few hours but, after my aunt called wanting to know if it was true and saying she’d try to find a way to help if it was, he decided that he’d better send that email.
Then the funny disappeared.
Not only had the hackers sent the email, but they changed his password AND his secret question. Yahoo has a handy feature where you can click the “this isn’t my question” link and they will revert to the last two questions only, surprise, he couldn’t remember the answer to one of them. Sure, he knew the answer, but he wasn’t sure how he’d written it. So, we started the ring around the rosies game that is contact yahoo customer service. Let me give you a hint, we never found a contact email for them. We finally had to sign in under my account so he could use the “live chat”. All that accomplished was that she “passed it on to the security team”. Meanwhile, we were now concerned that people might be sending these creeps cash.
After a brainstorming session, we managed to remember his secret question answer, so he was finally in, but it didn’t end there. The hackers had created a secondary email and linked it to his account, deleting the original “back up” mail he’d entered previously. And, the real rub, they deleted his entire address book. All the emails he’s collected over the years are gone, and most of them he doesn’t have written down.
What we initially thought was funny, turned out t be a giant pain and, depending on what kind of email account a person has, could be disastrous. Once the hackers can get into your account, they can change everything and as good as lock you out. So, be sure to keep your address book backed up and write down the answers to your secret questions because no amount of alternative email accounts can help you out.
And for the segment I like to call “Random Things from my Hard Drives” please enjoy some
random, but cool, character sketches:
Fav song of the moment – “The Humbling River” – Puscifer