Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hacked

If any of my readers also read LIFE IS GOOD or are friends with Dana Wyzard on FaceBook, you ought to know she has been hacked and what you are reading is posted by someone pretending to be her.  All her accounts including two email accounts, one gmail and one yahoo, were taken over a few days ago.  A simple, and if you knew Dana, easy to guess password was her undoing.


She has been playing silly beggars with her yahoo account and the hacker for several days.  She would get her account back, change the password and immediately it would be wrested from her again.  That means she could have a key-stroke reader installed on her machine.  I have no idea if that can be done from a remote location or not.

Once  you have been hacked, getting your accounts back from Google is no easy matter.  There are no humans at the other end.  They send you a questionnaire and you fill it out.  Wrong answers?  Bounce; fill it out again.  They want ALL the Google accounts/apps or whatever they are called that you access and the exact date you started them, examples of email addresses you send to on gmail.  And a bunch of other stuff.

There is a Blogger Help Forum Dana said she tried and it took her right back to the gmail questionnaire as that was what she was registered under.

She and Joe are taking the computer in for forensic scanning today.  They have a pretty good idea who is the scumbag that has done this.  What they hope to learn is how it was done and how to stop it.  Preferable to also get her blog back.  She has reluctantly started a new one which you can find here.

I contacted Coffee, brilliant computer-savvy husband of Violet of Miserable Bliss. for advice.  He is a Linux man but suggested a few things that I am acting on to tighten security on my own machine.  I have downloaded, installed, tried out and purchased a new anti-malware software package from http://malwarebytes.com .  It has been working steadily all day blocking "outbound" attempts to connect with a "potentially seriously bad" IP address 91.213.117.69.  I may have a problem on my own machine and will run another deep scan again tonight.  Obviously AdAware (free) and Avast (paid) are not sufficient.  Or it may be just Avast trying to check for updates and being smacked by the competition.

I have also changed my serious passwords to something that is harder to crack.  I have a mickey mouse password I use for stuff like e-zines and such that one has to register for.  But it is not used for anything important.  For that I went to combination upper and lower case letters interspersed with numbers.

How do I remember them all?  I have them written down on a piece of paper which I have hidden at the bottom of my underwear drawer on the left side.

4 comments:

  1. Sad story all round for Dana. But a good reminder, BF. Thanks for the heads up.

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  2. I would strongly suggest that everyone who uses Gmail and who also has a cellphone (or just a regular phone, if you don't use your email away from home often) turn on Google's Two-step Verification: http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=1056283&topic=1056284 It will make a HUGE difference in keeping your email account secure.

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  3. Damn, that kind of cowardly crap pisses me off. If there was a purpose to it would be more understandable - but it is just mean spirited.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  4. Dana just posted on her new blog that she bought a new computer and the sheriff's office is working on the old HD. She is being encouraged to sue the bastards but it is not like Dana to do that so we will see.

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