Life, Technology

Warning: I’ve been hacked

A quick warning: Apparently a boat load of e-mails went out from somewhere last night or early this morning that said they were from me but they were not. They used an old (old, old, old) AT&T e-mail address I used to have.

I have no idea where all the address came from, but I recognize the addresses on one of the e-mails sent to me as addresses I have used before, including, for instance, a professor I had e-mailed way back when I began researching 2012 stuff for the telecast. So it is a matter of one of my old databases somewhere being hacked, whether it’s one of my computers or some database kept online by AT&T or whatever.

Any suggestions would be welcome! In the meantime, I’ll be thinking of more ways to warn people and figuring out if I need to clean some computers when I get home late tonight…

Sorry for the inconvenience!

About Wallace G. Smith

Pastor for the Living Church of God (www.lcg.org) and a presenter on the Tomorrow's World television program (www.tomorrowsworld.org).

Discussion

11 thoughts on “Warning: I’ve been hacked

  1. It’s good that you’re working on this, but there just might be an angel assigned to the case too. :D Nothing received from you on this end, anyway… so far.

    Posted by John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) | January 16, 2013, 8:58 am
  2. And here I thought you were being extra dillegent working at 4:50am. :)

    Posted by D. Jerry Ruddlesden | January 16, 2013, 10:23 am
  3. Looks like it automatically went to my junk folder (good job Microsoft for recognizing that it wasn’t a legitimate email). :)

    Posted by Leona D | January 16, 2013, 10:32 am
  4. I took Java off of my computer per a warning, not java script. Java has a coffee cup on it’ little button in the add remove part of my control panel. The little irritating problems I have had from time to time have stopped since I removed it. That may be the source of your problem.

    Posted by lindaloolookingahead | January 16, 2013, 10:42 am
  5. Don’t worry, it has happened to many of us, unfortunately.

    Posted by nathanalbright | January 16, 2013, 2:36 pm
  6. Haven’t received any false emails myself, but thanks for the tip. I’ll keep an eye out.

    It’s hard for me to offer suggestions, because I’m older guy who relies on the kids and younger brothers for help. They set me up with several layers of security and taught me to do a full diagnostic twice a week. I did speak to them about your problem, however, and they had a couple of thoughts:

    Bad guys hacking into your server is the most likely cause. Hacking into a database on your personal computer is theoretically possible, but not likely, because your router should’ve blocked any access to old email accounts. They suggested that you contact customer support. If there’s no problem on their end, then you should do a full diagnostic on your personal computer, and consider adding or upgrading you security layers. And something about disabling the Java script, because that might’ve been the tool hackers used to break into the server.

    I’m just telling you what they suggested. One said that he’d have to actually sit down at your computer to ferret out the problem. I’ve never had a problem since I started relying on them, but then again, I’m just passing you along their thoughts second hand. That’s the caveat.

    Posted by steve | January 17, 2013, 3:32 pm
  7. Quit likely the email address was just spoofed. ATT.net states:
    “Be aware that e-mail headers can be forged easily, so the posing sender may not be the real sender.”
    you can take a look at the email headers for a little more insight.

    Though it never hurts to check-up on your own computers.

    A lot of routers include a firewall, so inbound connections would be blocked.

    NoScript for Firefox is great for disabling JavaScript, while allowing it on a few sites. Facebook only shows a blank page if JavaScript is off. Others won’t know the absence.

    Posted by Lyndell | January 18, 2013, 10:34 am
  8. Don’t feel bad, it happened to the late Mr. Carl McNair too.
    His computer emailed me a virus, saying it was from him. I almost opened it :)

    Since I work in this field, I’ll tell you what happened to you.

    A Trojan (or person that got your log-in info) got hold of your old AT&T address book (most likely webmail) and the person that wrote that Trojan sent out e-mails to all the people in your address book, using your e-mail address as the sender.

    This wasn’t facilitated from your computer (unless your computer was seriously infected), your “FROM” address was spoofed to make it look like you sent it.

    Unfortunately, if this was a hack or Trojan, the person that sent the e-mail still has your address book info and deleting your AT&T account would not solve the problem. He/she could still send out e-mails in the future.

    So, from a technical aspect, that’s what happened.

    Welcome to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – AKA the Internet.

    Posted by Steve Moody | January 18, 2013, 2:18 pm
  9. Howdy, and thanks, all. It’s funny that you call the Internet the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Mr. Moody. I’ve done that for years and heard Mr. Ehman make the same point very concisely and memorably at our last general ministerial conference. Thanks for all the encouragement, and my apologies to those who have been deceived by some malicious code using my good (or at least good-ish) name.

    Posted by Wallace G. Smith | January 18, 2013, 2:33 pm
  10. Everybody who received a false email should do a thorough security scan of their computer. Not only for their sake, but for the sake of others. Some kind of malware is trying to spread itself.

    Posted by steve | January 19, 2013, 12:22 am
  11. I agree. I’ve gotten several similar e-mails from folks. I’d hate to think that they got it from my hacked account, but, regardless, everyone should have their computers scanned.

    Posted by Wallace G. Smith | January 19, 2013, 8:09 am

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