Online email accounts compromised

In the past 48 hours tens of thousands of login details to some of the most popular email systems have been comprimised.

Hotmail appeared to be the first online service to be compromised, with approximately 10,000 email addresses with corresponding passwords available online. Then Google announced that they also had been affected by a hacking attack. A Google representative confirmed “We recently became aware of an industry-wide phishing scheme through which hackers gained user credentials for Web-based mail accounts including Gmail accounts”.

If you have an email account with any of the following services; yahoo.com – hotmail.com – gmail.com – msn.com – live.com

We strongly recommed taking the following steps:

  • Login to the relevant service with your current password
  • Change your current password
  • Change your secret question

However there are a number of other considerations; if you regularly use the same password for various sites you may well have been compromised on other websites. We recommend changing any login credentials with other online services that used the same password as your email account.

This can become a cumbersome project with so many different passwords to remember, so you may wish to use a password manager program to assist you. We have discussed previously 1Password which is the ideal solution for Mac users and Roboform is an excellent choice for Windows users.

Also do not forget to make your passwords as complicated as possible and hopefully with the assistance of your password manager you can make them 15 characters or more.

To avoid becoming a victim of the type of phishing attack that lead to this problem, try taking the test at SonicWALL to test your knowledge of identifying fake emails.

 

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