Compromised Email Account

mxyplxOctober 5, 2011

A close relative's email account has been 'compromised' as it is termed and email from them promises great things at V iagra - I think that's a waterfall in upstate NY - So anything from that account goes to Spam anymore.

What might happen to my account if I send an email to that 'compromised' account? Is it a dangerous thing to do? Nothing on Google that I could find.

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Hi, mxyplx

What kind of account is this ? Hotmail ? Gmail ? AOL ?

Some hackers, once they gain access to someone's account, lock the people out by changing the password and security questions to something only they (the hackers) know. Others just want to use the account for sending of spam, so the account 'owner' (your relative) still has access.

IF your relative's case is the latter and he/she still has access to the email account, the first thing to do is change the password (to something longer and harder to guess), then change the security question/answer (if there is one) and/or the alternate email address. Also check ALL OTHER INFORMATION to see whether any other things have been changed (name, address, forwarding email addresses, list of contacts, etc.). Once this is done, he/she should have successfully regained full control of the account and no further spam should come from the account.

Oh, be sure your relative is not using the same password and security question/answer at any other email account.

Re: sending: The only problem with sending email to the account would be if the hacker still has access to it, in which case he/she would have access to your email and whatever information you include in it (your own email address, etc.).

I hope this helps. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Strong Passwords

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 1:36PM
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AOL - archaic
I just got off a landline (equally so) with em.

The password has been changed. Their 'IP Guy' whatever that is worked things over and all is OK now. I was told he thot the hacker was just one person that was sending the spam emails out one at a time. Maybe. I don't buy that.

Security question? - Huh? No such animal. All Other Info was checked out OK by...Ugestit.... the IP Guy. Sure it was.

I will continue to have their emails go to Spam and probly make up a disposable account for contacting them from. (from which I may safely contact them)?.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 10:41PM
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Hi, mxyplx

Yes, AOL is an oldie, but I do know of some people very knowledgeable about email who actually prefer it to a lot of the other available email providers. Though it has its feature limitations, it seems to be a generally reliable service. I've only recently begun re-using my account there to test how good it works (or doesn't) for me. :-)

Re: security question: There is a security question (e.g. as a security measure I have it pop up if I'm going to change my AOL password). It's possible, though, that it was actually an option during sign-up. Perhaps they asked whether you/your relative wanted a back-up/alternate email address or a security question in case you forgot your password, in which case you (or your relative) may have chosen the former. ??

Re: their account: if, in fact, everything has been straightened out (password changed, alternate email address and/or sec. question changed, etc.) there really should be no need to have their emails go to spam. The hacker should be locked out.

Incidentally, if you don't mind my asking, what was the subject line of the spam emails that were sent from your relative's account ? A friend of mine had his (insecure) Yahoo account compromised about a month ago, and I could tell because an email came to my inbox from him, but the subject line merely read, "Re:". That's a dead give-away, since my friend ALWAYS had a descriptive subject for all his emails. Were these spam messages without any subject at all ? Or were they very generic ("Hi, How Are You ?") ?

Btw, you and your relative could work out some sort of 'codeword' for the foreseeable future. They could include it -- a particular word or number -- in the subject line of every message they send you, so that you would know the email is from them. Just a thought. :-\

Anyway, I hope you get things worked out to everyone's satisfaction. :-)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Just the usual; - links to V-iagra type stuff.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 10:52PM
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