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  • Creepy: My was email hacked

    Someone hacked my email account today. I received an email from my gmail account that had the title "From Me, For ME" that was a bunch of links for Google Search results, regarding cannibalism and sexual cannibalism. That was very odd. At first I thought it was a spam email with a spoofed email address but when I checked my login info through gmail, low and behold a different IP came up as being logged in at the same time as I received the weird email.

    Needless to say I logged out all the other instances for gmail, changed the password and challenge questions and then did the same for all my other sensitive stuff (bank acct's, etc). I also verified that no other strange withdrawals or charges were on my accounts. Considering the full account numbers are not anywhere, I hope that does it.

    I looked up the IP address and it is from a college library computer. I haven't been anywhere outside of the house today (working from home) so I know it was not me.

    What else should I do, I know several of you guys are IT guru's, any suggestions?

  • #2
    Originally posted by SnowmaNick
    Someone hacked my email account today. I received an email from my gmail account that had the title "From Me, For ME" that was a bunch of links for Google Search results, regarding cannibalism and sexual cannibalism. That was very odd. At first I thought it was a spam email with a spoofed email address but when I checked my login info through gmail, low and behold a different IP came up as being logged in at the same time as I received the weird email.

    Needless to say I logged out all the other instances for gmail, changed the password and challenge questions and then did the same for all my other sensitive stuff (bank acct's, etc). I also verified that no other strange withdrawals or charges were on my accounts. Considering the full account numbers are not anywhere, I hope that does it.

    I looked up the IP address and it is from a college library computer. I haven't been anywhere outside of the house today (working from home) so I know it was not me.

    What else should I do, I know several of you guys are IT guru's, any suggestions?
    Now that...IS SCARY!

    I guess to be totally safe, leave gmail and get a hotmail or yahoo account. At the very least, I'd set the settings for firewall to it's highest security level......at least for awhile.

    Did you report it to Google? Not sure what they'd do about it, but considering the subject matter that was sent, I would think they'd take an interest.

    But, something as anonymous as a college library computer might be tough to track down.

    I wonder what the university would do if they knew that sort of material was being sent from one of their own computers? Might drop the head librarian a little note, too.
    About a pubic hair away from being banned!

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    • #3
      Thanks GG. I am hesitant to get rid of the gmail account, I hate to say that, but I am. I have had it since the end of '04 or beginning of '05 and it has been my primary account since then. I am saving all my pertinent emails to my computer and debating deleting everything sensitive. I also shot an email to the help desk at the college in question as I couldn't find a specific person to email at the library. I CC'd the library Help Desk as well. I have changed every security feature I could find on Gmail and went to crazy passwords created through a password generator to make things a little harder if they try again. I am debating changing accounts, but man that would be a lot of stuff to change and people to notify.

      It was super creepy though. Once I figure out that the email truly came from my own account I admit I looked at some of the links. The video of the Hungarian Cannibal eating brain soup and discussions of ritual cannibalism in Africa, eating your enemy and such.

      Weirded me out. It made me think of the old urban legend of the babysitter getting the weird calls and finds out theey are from inside the house. Except, it was inside my email.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SnowmaNick



        What else should I do, ..., any suggestions?
        Ditch the coke?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by django1
          Ditch the coke?
          Now you're just talking crazy

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          • #6
            I am not a security programmer, but my understanding is its not that difficult to hack email. You should consider email and insecure form of communication, no account #, passwords, etc. and assume that everyone can read your email.

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            • #7
              Its entirely possible your email wasn't even hacked - but instead there could be a trojan or worm on your machine that has allowed another person access, or is sending keystrokes to a remote computer, etc. I assume you're running an antivirus program and it is up to date? I would perform a full scan of your PC with 2 different antivirus programs, (I like Avast and its free), as well as a scan with SpyBot and perhaps run GMER as well. The last one isn't as user friendly, but very helpful in getting rid of rootkits.

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              • #8
                Totally understand about not wanting to change emails. I've had my primary email since '96. More know it than they do my phone # that I've had for 15 years.

                I would think that Google would be concerned about the ability to "hack" into their email accounts. That said, I'm always a little "skittish" when I'm using my email/laptop in public. I always look around me to see who's trying to spy my screen.

                Tough call. You HOPE no one got access to your personal info. But, it's a huge hassle changing all of it.

                That's some "sick" stuff that they sent, though. Makes you wonder why they wanted to send it....and why with your email.
                About a pubic hair away from being banned!

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                • #9
                  I wondered about the trojan/worm.virus as well. I'm not an IT guy so I do not even pretend that my system is secure from anyone with a clue and any skill. I do try to do what I can though to limit this junk from happening.

                  I am running AVG, up to date and it scans daily. I also run Spybot S&D & Ad-Aware every couple of days (always update before scan), and of course I have automatic updates for Windows on. I have a firewall, run behind a NAT router, have closed all the open ports and avoid as many questionable websites as possible (IE: no porn, but who knows what is on a page these days). I also run Trend Micro's Housecall about once a week to have a third party program check my system. I also use Ghostry for my Firefox browser to try to keep an eye on who is keeping an eye on me. I rarely use IE.

                  The world is getting a little crazy when you have to have a dozen digital locks on your door and it does nothing. I don't like the idea of somebody just being able to read my mail. Nothing really worth reading on my personal machine and my work machine only connects through a VPN and isn't used for anything other than work. Still, the idea doesn't sit easily with me.

                  Thanks for the ideas, I am still running more scans on my machine, except for the usual cookies nothing so far has turned up.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JazzySmooth
                    (I like Avast and its free), as well as a scan with SpyBot and perhaps run GMER as well. The last one isn't as user friendly, but very helpful in getting rid of rootkits.
                    Looking into GMER right now, thanks. :thumbsup:

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by graphicguy
                      That's some "sick" stuff that they sent, though. Makes you wonder why they wanted to send it....and why with your email.
                      That is the most disturbing part. If someone tried to find bank/cc acct #'s or tried to sell me Viagra, or even use my email to spam, I would at least understand. Cannibalism....WTF?!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SnowmaNick
                        Now you're just talking crazy
                        :lol:

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                        • #13
                          Someone is sending from my address-click at Google. Your email addy is likely being spoofed, not hacked.

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                          • #14
                            Regarding the spoofing vs hacking, it was hacked. You can spoof an email addy but I have yet to see how to spoof it in the sent box of the account. This showed up as:

                            A) Sent from me - yes spoofable
                            B) A different IP address logged into my gmail account per their logs
                            C) That IP was at a college campus library, I was at home
                            D) The email showed up in my sent box

                            This wasn't a spoof, wish it was as that would make me feel better though.

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                            • #15
                              Have you visit that library and used their computers lately? If so someone probably installed a keylogger that is recording everything typed. It is simple to do.

                              Otherwise change your passwords (never use the same password for email and banks) and move on.

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