[MA-SOC] OT: Insidious new type of spam by hackers - please be careful!

Oneirophile at aol.com Oneirophile at aol.com
Tue Oct 14 18:39:43 EDT 2008


Mina-san,
 
I wanted to give you all a heads-up about a new and rather scary kind of  
spam.  I recently got one of those bogus Viagra ads, masquerading as a  Microsoft 
Corporation announcement.... nothing unusual about that.  So I  sent it to my 
spam folder.  But when I checked my spam folder again just to  see who the 
offending sender was, I discovered that the "From" was my very own  e-mail!  Not 
similar, not a variation, but completely identical to  mine.
 

I immediately moved the bogus ad out of my spam folder, fearing  that I would 
be reporting my own e-mail as a spammer.  I then phoned AOL  and spoke to one 
of their reps.  He told me that this tactic is unusual,  but not unheard of, 
and it means that someone got access to my AOL  password.  That was even more 
scary, because I have never told *anyone* my  AOL password.... not even my 
husband or my son.  And I've never typed my  password into any e-mails or online 
forms, either (I know better than to do  that!).  Apparently, the new 
generation of hackers knows how to crack  passwords without even tricking their 
victims into revealing them.
 
The AOL rep told me that all we could do is to run a scan with our  antivirus 
software (we've got up-to-date McAfee), and to change my password more  
frequently.  There's no other recourse -- I cannot report it as spam,  because I'd 
be reporting my own e-mail as the sender.
 
The moral of the story is this:  When you get spam, do  NOT automatically 
send it to the spam folder without first checking the  sender.  If the sender 
appears as your own e-mail, it means that your  password has been cracked and you 
should not send it to the spam folder, -- just  delete it and run a virus 
scan IMMEDIATELY.  After the scan is complete be  sure to change your 
password.... and change it more often in the future.
 
Just a word to the wise from
your sadder-but-wiser buddy,
Jill
 
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