David Briggs Joins Sarah Palin and Other Victims of E-Mailing Hacking


Briggs lost access to his Hotmail email account after hackers were able to guess his password or else the answer to his qualifying question.

Hackers locked Briggs out of his own email account and stole his identity, spamming all of his contacts. The hackers sent an email out that appeared to be from Briggs reporting that he was trapped in Malaysia and needed money transferred.

Even Twitter got Tweaked by a Hacker Apk Hack:

Recently a Twitter employee became the victim of a similar email hacking scam. The hacker guessed the answer to the employee’s email question and reset the password.

Of the incident, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone blogged, “About a month ago, an administrative employee here at Twitter was targeted and her personal email account was hacked. From the personal account, we believe the hacker was able to gain information which allowed access to this employee’s Google Apps account which contained Docs, Calendars, and other Google Apps Twitter relies on for sharing notes, spreadsheets, ideas, financial details and more within the company.”

Remember Sarah Palin’s email hacker?

During last year’s heated Presidential campaign, the private Yahoo! Mail account of Sarah Palin, Republican vice presidential candidate, was hacked by “Rubico.” The hacker, intent on derailing Palin’s campaign, used Wikipedia to learn Palin’s birthday, a standard security question used by Yahoo.

Ever “Forgot your password?”

According to a study by Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University, the most popular web mail providers, AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, all use “secret questions” that appear to be even weaker than the passwords themselves.. Since the study, Yahoo says they’ve updated their personal questions.

Look at any list of your friends and family, whether from your phone contacts, address book, your Facebook account or your email buddies. Pick any name randomly and ask yourself:

“Where did she go on her honeymoon?” (Asheville)

“What’s the name of his dog?” (Buffy)

“What’s the name of his favorite aunt?” (Mary)

“What’s her favorite food?” (chocolate)

Even a hacking stranger could find out lots of this information with a little research from social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. How many newlyweds have their honeymoon photo album posted? Have photos posted of their pets? Refer to their kids by nicknames in postings?

A visit to family tree websites like Ancestry.com or Geneology.com can give a con artists a list of your aunts and to start the “who’s your favorite” guessing game.

Google’s g-mail accounts include your frequent flyer number that is very well on your desk or your library card number, which is often dangling from your key chain.

If you can remember the name of your first teacher, it is likely that there are a few people who can remember your first teacher’s name too. The same goes for the first street you lived on and your first dog.

Sure you’ve heard it all before but the David Briggs email hacking incident reminds us all that we all need to do it today.

Don’t use these “loser” (as in lose your security) passwords:

-your birthday
-your anniversary
-your pet’s names

Savvy Password should include:

-at least 8 digits
-both upper and lower case letters
-digits as well as letters

Other password tips:

Many passwords offer a meter to show you how “strong” or “weak” your password is. Pay attention.

Change your passwords on a regular basis in case of breech.

Beef up your security answer today. Make up your own question if it is an option. If not try an answer that isn’t likely guessable or researchable like my favorite food is 9BuTeredPeas.. O.K., now I have to go change it.

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