Has Your Email Been Hijacked?
A common complaint
by many users in recent months has been spam emails appearing to come from
their own accounts. Despite not knowing why, reports of friends, family, and
contacts receiving spam email that appears to come from them has worried many
Some have had
their accounts suspended or shut down by their service providers as a result.
For many, this experience can be highly disruptive. It's a problem that can
cause many issues in both your professional and personal life.
The key to defence is learning how these attacks happen, and figuring out what you can do to protect yourself and your contacts against them.
Hackers Using Your Email Against You
Scammers that send
out spam messages are continually looking for ways to make the process faster,
cheaper, and more efficient. It's the best way in which they can make more
money every day by scamming unsuspecting victims for even more cash.
One of the most
efficient ways they do this is by hijacking ready-made, trusted email accounts
like your own. Hackers have several tools at their disposal to attempt to
hijack your accounts.
Some of the
principles which make email fast and easy to use means that details, such as
those in the 'from' field, are easy to fake. A hacker might change the
information supplied to make it appear as if the email comes from anyone.
There's not much
you can do to defend your email against such an attack. However, you can work
to verify that an email, even one you expect to receive, does come from the
person you believe it to. If your email provider flags up an incoming email as
'suspicious', or 'untrustworthy', it may well be.
Hackers often buy
large bundles of email addresses and passwords from the dark web. Leaked
emails are often put up for sale following hacks of major companies and service
The value of these
details comes from passwords being unlikely to have been changed, the details
attached to them are trusted, and often get hackers access to additional
How To Detect an Email Intrusion
It can take a long
time before you’re aware that malicious hackers are using your details. You
might even be the last person in your contacts to know.
The first sign to
look out for is a large number of unexpected emails in your inbox. These are
likely to be replies to emails you never sent in the first place. Out of
office, automatic responses, people complaining about spam, and people
responding to the email as if it were genuine may all come to you first.
Keep a close eye
on unexpected emails appearing suddenly in either your inbox or outbox. A
hacker may be spear-phishing someone that you do business with or trust. By
acting as you, using your address and details, they may be able to divert
payments or confidential information to their accounts instead.
Protecting Yourself Against Hackers,
Attackers, And Hijackers
computer might have been compromised to give hackers access to your services.
Malicious software may have infected your machine to steal data and infect your
Take extra care to
change your passwords if you believe your email has been accessed by hacker.
Use a different, more secure password for your email than you do for every
other service. Your email account is often the key to accessing many of the
services you use most.
Run a virus scan
and maintain security updates if you think your computer could have been
infected. Have your machine and services looked at by a professional if you
believe there is a risk your data is being used.
If you think your email could have been hijacked, or your details used elsewhere, give Cumbria Computer Repairs a call on 01228 576090 or 01228 217100.
Visit our website at www.cumbriacomputerrepairs.co.uk