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Old 03-26-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
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An internet security question for those more knowledgable than I!!

Here's the scenario...my email account (yahoo) has been gotten into twice in the past month. Someone gets in there, grabs my entire contact list, sends out one of those bulk emails, selling something via a link to their site, but saying the email is from me!! Then, my contact list disappears!! I have been able to get my contact list back by going to contact list trash. But....I can't for the life of me figure out how this is happening. I don't open emails from anyone I don't know. I don't open attachments if I don't know what's in them. Yahoo says I must have opened something, but I didn't. I have Norton running but that doesn't seem to be dong much of anything.
So...anyone out there have any clue what the heck is going on??? Or what I need to do to prevent it from happening a third time??? My contact list people are getting a wee bit tired of these bogus emails.
Thanks for any insights!!!
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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Switch to another email provider.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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When it was compromised the first time did you change your log in password? That might help so that they can't get back into your account. Or go with another provider.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:10 PM   #4
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<----computer security guy. It pays the bills.

Most likely scenario is someone, somewhere has obtained your password somehow. How is kind of irrelevant. You need to change it as soon as possible. If you did between the occurrences, then it's likely that there is a keylogging piece of nastiness on your computer.

Just to be safe, before you go changing your password I'd recommend thoroughly scanning your computer for any sort of malware (malicious code...aka viruses, worms, spyware, adware, etc). Hopefully you're running an antivirus program that is regularly and automatically updated. I like to team those up with two additional (free) applications: Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware. Both of those are specifically designed to detect and remove malware. Spybot also has an immunization feature that prevents infections from happening in the first place.

Other things to consider...is your computer up to date? For most home users, I set Automatic Updates to automatically download and apply any Windows updates. Much easier than getting in the habit of regularly checking and applying them.

Are you using Internet Explorer? I HIGHLY recommend not using it. FireFox, combined with the AdBlockPlus and/or NoScript add-ons, is a much more secure and even faster web browser. If you do have pages that require IE to function, the IETab add-on fixes that.

If you (or anyone else) have more questions, fire away.

//EDIT: all that advice is targeted to Windows-based PC's. MacOS and *nix computers are completely separate, though not immune to malware.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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Did you ever use one of those "tell your friends" functions that asks for your yahoo user/pass? That is something else to think about. I know social networking sites such as Twitter does this, it could have been done by some
sort of unscrupulous company.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloroFiend View Post
<----computer security guy. It pays the bills.

Most likely scenario is someone, somewhere has obtained your password somehow. How is kind of irrelevant. You need to change it as soon as possible. If you did between the occurrences, then it's likely that there is a keylogging piece of nastiness on your computer.

Just to be safe, before you go changing your password I'd recommend thoroughly scanning your computer for any sort of malware (malicious code...aka viruses, worms, spyware, adware, etc). Hopefully you're running an antivirus program that is regularly and automatically updated. I like to team those up with two additional (free) applications: Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware. Both of those are specifically designed to detect and remove malware. Spybot also has an immunization feature that prevents infections from happening in the first place.

Other things to consider...is your computer up to date? For most home users, I set Automatic Updates to automatically download and apply any Windows updates. Much easier than getting in the habit of regularly checking and applying them.

Are you using Internet Explorer? I HIGHLY recommend not using it. FireFox, combined with the AdBlockPlus and/or NoScript add-ons, is a much more secure and even faster web browser. If you do have pages that require IE to function, the IETab add-on fixes that.

If you (or anyone else) have more questions, fire away.

//EDIT: all that advice is targeted to Windows-based PC's. MacOS and *nix computers are completely separate, though not immune to malware.
Hmmm..yes, I do use IE. My ds has been after me to change it...says it's too susceptible. Looks like he could be right.
I do update whenever an update comes along.....it lets me know it's there.
This is a huge pain.
And no, haven't given out my password for anything like twitter....that would go past my expertise!!!
Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloroFiend View Post
<----computer security guy. It pays the bills.

Most likely scenario is someone, somewhere has obtained your password somehow. How is kind of irrelevant. You need to change it as soon as possible. If you did between the occurrences, then it's likely that there is a keylogging piece of nastiness on your computer.

Just to be safe, before you go changing your password I'd recommend thoroughly scanning your computer for any sort of malware (malicious code...aka viruses, worms, spyware, adware, etc). Hopefully you're running an antivirus program that is regularly and automatically updated. I like to team those up with two additional (free) applications: Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware. Both of those are specifically designed to detect and remove malware. Spybot also has an immunization feature that prevents infections from happening in the first place.

Other things to consider...is your computer up to date? For most home users, I set Automatic Updates to automatically download and apply any Windows updates. Much easier than getting in the habit of regularly checking and applying them.

Are you using Internet Explorer? I HIGHLY recommend not using it. FireFox, combined with the AdBlockPlus and/or NoScript add-ons, is a much more secure and even faster web browser. If you do have pages that require IE to function, the IETab add-on fixes that.

If you (or anyone else) have more questions, fire away.

//EDIT: all that advice is targeted to Windows-based PC's. MacOS and *nix computers are completely separate, though not immune to malware.
Thanx for the info. I haven't had the problems of the OP but i downloaded Firefox this morning and am getting used to it now. I like it a lot better and its soo much faster than IE. Once I get comfy then I'll look into the addons it offers.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
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ChloroFiend -- It is so nice of you to share that advice. I'll have to take it myself, though fortunately no problems yet.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:19 PM   #9
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I've changed my password for email. Also put in a special picture so that I know I'm actually in Yahoo not a 'look-a-like' site trying to get my info.
I was told by someone that they were told by someone (you know the scenario...my best friend's hairdresser's boyfriend's dogsitter!!) that they were expecting their system to crash due to this same type of email crap.

I did check with the guy I take my computer to. He says there may be something still embedded in my system or there may not. He isn't overly concerned about it crashing though. But does want to run a few tests to see what's in there.
But...he doesn't think changing from IE to anything else is needed. Also says Norton is as good as anything else. Of course, ds said to download Firefox and change to AVG instead of Norton.
This is all very confusing.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:05 AM   #10
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If there's something still embedded, scanning with SpyBot and AdAware should detect and remove it....at least a high probably of doing so if something exists. I'm not concerned about it crashing either; the bigger concern is another password disclosure like happened to you already....that or some other type of personal information leak.

Everyone has their own favorite anti-virus client that they like to recommend. Some do so for rational reasons, some are just fanboys of one or another for some emotional reason.

I tend to recommend AVG since its relatively lightweight, making it less draining on system resources, as well as thorough...its tested well in a variety of comparisons conducted by different reviewing entities. Norton's been pretty bloated + sluggish the last few years, though I hear that the last revision is better. For what its worth, I ran the corporate version of Norton (Symantec Antivirus Corporate) on my personal gear for many years before swapping to AVG.

keenercam- my pleasure, glad to be of help.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:57 AM   #11
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I got this email from my Aunt's email account the other day and it was sent to all her contacts too. It said it was from Niyacn a company in China Here is a link about it from Windows live help for it.
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