A spate of gMail accounts being hacked has emerged over the last few days.
Hackers are reportedly clearing out users address book entries, and sending eMails to everyone in the address book with a request for help due to a theft of documents. There are several variations to the theme, but in each of them there is a request for money.
Sources claim that anyone replying to these eMails may be more likely to be attacked, though there is as yet insufficient evidence to support this claim.
This is a stark reminder that free online eMail services are a threat to ones personal security. Big business is always a 'valid' target in the eyes of a hacker/attacker. Getting 'one over' a large successful business is perceived as being the best in the business.
gMail, Yahoo, Outlook (Hotmail) all state that you should regularly change your password. But who does? We all use names, dates or memorable places. These are easy to crack very quickly. Indeed, some of the iteration software takes only minutes to crack the majority of passwords. Okay, so we make an 'e' a 3, an 'i' a 1 and think that is enough. It isn't! The software checks for that too!
Using something like this: abK3ZubD9KHRqH# might do the trick, though who is going to remember such a complicated password? The fact is, we have to start taking security more seriously!
If you have the gMail app on your smartphone, your entire phone contact list WILL be in your online gMail contact list/Address book. Have a look .....
Now go to Google Search and type in 'gmail hacking'. You may find the first link is to a tool to hack Google Mail (on google.es it is), but certainly the results will be primarily for hacking tools. There are also freely available online tutorials on how to hack Yahoo and Hotmail as well.
Modern technology is helping the problem. Cloud services are not secure, and by virtue of what they are, the never will be.
Good Anti-Virus software, coupled with, for example, IObit Amti-Malware Fighter should stop your device from being compromised, but none of us know what security Google, Yahoo, BT, Hotmail or any other 'free' hosts are employing. The same goes for 'cloud hosts'