Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

Up to 1 Million email Accounts Phished for Identity Theft

1
Pin It

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

Hotmail, Earthlink, Google, Yahoo, Comcast and other web-based email users have been giving up al their login details to phishers and current estimates are as many as 1 million accounts may have been compromised.

News of the scam broke when technology blog neowin.net reported an anonymous user had published confidential details on pastebin.com. Internet users are urged to change their passwords regularly and ensure anti-virus software is up to date to protect themselves from fraudsters.

While phishing emails keep pouring in, their methods are changing rapidly. Posing as a Nigerian prince is still common, but not as effective. Even posing as a known bank or Paypal, asking to update an account for various reasons and requesting a potential victim’s user name and password is not as effective as it used to be.

Much of the phishing that occurs today is targeted “spear phishing,” in which the spammers are after a localized target. Going after a CEO is called “whaling.” Who better to take down than the biggest phish of them all? Most corporate websites offer plenty of data on the company officers and administrative contacts, which makes it relatively easy to create a sucker list. If scammers send an email blast to the entire company, eventually someone is likely to cough up enough data to allow the scammers to tap into the company’s intranet. Once the scammers have accessed the intranet, all further phishing emails will appear to be coming from a trusted, internal source.

Perhaps the most insidious type of phishing occurs when a recipient clicks a link, either in the body of an email or on the spoofed website linked in the email, and a download begins. That download is almost always a virus with a remote control component , which gives the phisher full access to the user’s data, including usernames and passwords, credit cards details, banking and Social Security numbers. Often, that same virus makes the victim’s PC part of a botnet.

How to avoid becoming a victim? Delete.

Change passwords often. Combine uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and characters. Don’t use consecutive letters or numbers, and never use names of pets, family members, or close friends. Instead use the first letters of phrases

Never click links in the body of an email that are coming from a bank, Paypal or any enterprise that may be leading to a request to enter data. Go to your favorites menu or manually type the address in.

Pay attention to phishing filters. Most updated browsers have built-in phish filters that toss up a red flag warning of a potential ruse.

1. Protecting yourself from new account fraud requires effort. You can attempt to protect your own identity, by getting yourself a credit freeze, or setting up your own fraud alerts. There are pros and cons to each.

2. Invest in Intelius Identity Protection and Prevention. Because when all else fails you’ll have someone watching your back.

Robert Siciliano, identity theft speaker, discusses hacked email on FOX & Friends.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Phishers Getting Smarter
    Identity Theft Expert It wasn’t long ago that most phishing emails were from a supposed Nigerian General Matumbi Mabumboo Watumboo. And you and I were flattered that we were the chosen ones to help the general transfer 35 million out of the country, because the Nigerian government was a bunch of jerks and wouldn’t let him keep
  • Mobile and Phishing – Why It’s More Dangerous
    Phishing occurs when scammers send emails that appear to have been sent by legitimate, trusted organizations in order to lure recipients into clicking links and entering login data and other credentials. SMiShing is a version of phishing in which scammers send text messages rather than emails, which, as with phishing emails, appear to have been sent by
  • email Addresses Hacked via a Botnet or Phished?
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Recently Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Comcast and Earthlink announced thousands of email addresses and their passwords were phished by identity thieves and posted in an online forum. One report suggests the emails phished could be up to a million victims. Researchers parsed the hacked passwords and broke them down into categories based on
  • Criminal Hackers Clean Out Bank Accounts Using Spear Phishing
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert It wasn’t long ago that most phishing emails were from a supposed Nigerian General Matumbi Mabumboo Watumboo. And you and I were flattered that we were the chosen ones to help the general transfer 35 million out of the country, because the Nigerian government was a bunch of jerks and wouldn’t let
  • Top 5 Scams to Watch Out For
    #1 Nigerian Scams: According to a Dutch study, victims of advanced-fee scams, which are also known as 419 scams or Nigerian scams, lost more than $9 billion in 2009, almost 50% more than the previous year. (This PDF contains the statistics from the study.) While these types of scams are generally understood to be Nigerian in

One Response to “Up to 1 Million email Accounts Phished for Identity Theft”

[…] and their passwords were phished by identity thieves and posted in an online forum. One report suggests the emails phished could be up to a million […]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category