Emails getting Hacked

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jeshykai's picture
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Alpha, Gunslinger and now I have had our e-mail accounts hacked recently.  I wonder if it came from here?  Jus wanted to let you know.

If anyone got e-mails from me I'm sorry -- please disregard the weird and obviously glitched emails.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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It would be very unlikely (impossible) for your email to be hacked by anything coming through Gentle Doberman.

From you description of events, it sounds like you guys got a virus that sent email using your computer. Is that the case? Or did your actual email accounts get hacked. (Something discovered your password and broke into your account.)

The email contact system on Gentle Doberman only sends text, and has several spam stopping measures. You can't use it to send files. And besides images, you can't upload files here. And a file is what you need to catch a virus.

Depending on your operating system, there are a lot of ways to catch a virus. They usually come from infected websites or email. These viruses are usually written by people with very little programming talent too - and that's why the emails look so funky.

If you're on Windows, install new updates as soon as they are available, and run a good anti-virus system such as McAfee, Kaspersky, Semantec, etc. There's also a handy program called Malwarebytes. It's free. This program is made to catch the bad stuff other programs tend to miss, and depending on the type of virus, it will kill them. (Some viruses can be tricky to remove because they find and damage your anti-virus software.)

Have you both successively fixed the problem on your systems?

jeshykai's picture
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Oh, okay.  I have no clue - clearly, how any of this works and I had never experienced it before.  On the off chance it came from here, I thought I'd let you know.  CLEARLY you protect us!

Gmail stopped it after 10 crazy things were sent off and locked my account.  I fixed the issue.

Thanks for the information on how to prevent it and fix it, etc!

Yes Alpha, I fixed my virus problem but there was a short time that whatever it was was running and sending e-mail from my gun_slinger2006 account. As soon as I realized what was happening I shut dowm my laptop and posted the warning on GD and other places (from another computer). I did delete the addresses in the account and re-passworded.

Jess, my guess is that it is quite possible that you were hit with what I had.

I apologize to anyone who might have been affected by this.

P.S. I'm still pissed @ mcafee!!!!

Alpha, just to clarify, It DID NOT come from GD!!!!

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Jeshykai: What was the issue with your Gmail account? Was it compromised by something/someone? In that case, you most likely got a virus on your computer that retrieved your login information. I'd probably change all my important passwords, especially on any online banking accounts you have.

gun_slinger: Am I right in assuming you use an email client on your laptop, something like Outlook, and the virus was using that to send the mail?

In this case, we're talking about two different viruses. There are many types of malware (malware is any type of malicious program, a virus is a specific kind of malware). But there are generally three different goals malware is after.

The dangerous one is the one that looks for information about you and sends it to someone. Depending on the type of data harvested, it can be used to access your online accounts, such as Gmail or bank accounts, or even find credit card information.

Another kind is slightly less dangerous but seriously annoying. It's the type that wants you to visit smut sites. --Imagine you own a smut site, and you want to increase traffic. Legitimate ad systems like Google and Yahoo won't have you, so you hire people to spread your links around. You give them a number that's attached to the link so they get paid every time someone visits. Because this 'advertiser' is not legitimate, or talented, they find a virus that, once installed on a computer system, infects the browser and causes it to visit the smut links over and over.

The third type is the kind that just wants to destroy things. It has no immediate entrepreneurial inclinations. It just uses up recourses and destroys data, and sometimes damages hardware.

How dose this malware find its way to computers? Usually though websites and email. You can hack into a website that has poor security on it's hosting server, and install a program that installs this malware on vulnerable computers that visit. And emails can contain files that install when you open the files, or install automatically on unprotected computers.

Also, once a single malicious program installs, the first thing it usually does is downloads numerous other malicious software. Viruses are a special type of malware that replicate themselves, often by sending copies out with an email client or by traversing a network.

This is why it's important to keep your operating system updated, a firewall running, and up-to-date anti-virus software. It's also important be careful what sites you visit (what links you click). FOr example, if you ever see spam appear on our website, don't click any of the links (obviously), just flag it so I can dispatch the trouble maker.

If you're running a Windows version earlier than 7, it's also a good idea to remove administrative privileges from your regular account and keep a second account with administrative privileges for installing programs. I won't start bashing Windows in this thread, but due to its design, Windows is an inherently vulnerable operating system, and not giving malware administrative privileges when it first installs helps.

And thanks gun_slinger for clarifying that Gentle Doberman was not the source of you resent attack.

DJ's Dad's picture
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What a great explanation, Alpha.  Thank you---even I can understand that!  LOL

On some of the facebook groups I belong to, we keep seeing strange links popping up that are repeated over and over and over again, trying to get people to click on them.  That always sends me a red flag, so I never click that stuff, but I wondered why these people are SO insistant on trying to get others to click their sites.....it's because they are getting paid by some underhanded slime to trick people into visiting their site.  Wow.  Some people are so devious, aren't they?

jeshykai's picture
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I changed all passwords.  I'm used to Macs, so I guess I gotta beef up secruity.  I followed your advice.  But basically, someone got my information and started sending spam emails.  Of smut I'm assuming???

Uggggggggggghhh...

 

Thanks for the info again!

Happydance's picture
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Jess, I got 3 emails from friends that would never do such a thing, not from smut sites though. 2 of them were from some Canadian low cost RX company, and one was from some social dating site.  Another friend's account was hacked but I never got anything from him.  I run virus updates and scans everyday now since this started.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Jeshykai, Mac is a much safer operating system, as long as you keep it up-to-date. And it's not just because they're less prevalent than Windows. Mac is set up so that the user -- or evil program running as the user -- can't access certain parts of the operating system. Mac inherited this design from Linux. Linux is an open source operating system, from which Mac descends, as does Android and almost any other type of non-Windows operating system.

With Windows 7 further measures have been taken to sure-up security. Specifically, even when you run with administrative privileges, you have to OK executable files before they run, as well as other possibly dangerous tasks that require admin privileges. I'm not sure why Windows didn't take the opportunity in developing Visa or 7 to redesign a few things, including its file system.

blue4's picture
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Wow.  This is great info!  Thank you so much Alpha!!