Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gmail Hijackings Continue

Yesterday I posted about two of my Gmail accounts being hacked. Since then I've been keeping an eye on both the Google forums and Twitter to see if other people have been similarly affected- still no official acknowledgement from the GOOG, although reports continue to stream in on the Gmail users forums, and every time my Tweetdeck refreshes I see several new people complaining that their accounts have been compromised.

The MSM has been slow to pick up on this story thus far, though word of the low-grade hacking epidemic is beginning to percolate through the Intarwebz: there's a mention of the Gmail spammings on Wonkette and a thread on 4chan as well (Protip: Whoever you are, Viagra spammers, hacking a channer's account was probably the dumbest thing you could do!).

In any event, if you haven't already changed your Google password now would be a good time to do so. Also be sure to change passwords to other web services if you were using the same login information as your Gmail account.

If you're still worried about getting hacked, you may also want to consider implementing an Early Warning System in your Gmail: in your Contacts, add the email address for your cell phone text number. Since numerical entries appear at the top of your Gmail Contacts list, if your account is compromised by a spammer you'll receive a spam TXT on your phone almost as soon as the hacking activity gets underway. This is how I discovered that my account was being hacked, and fortunately I was able to log out the spammer and change my password before he/she got through the A's in my Contact list.

Good luck to all, and I hope we get some official word soon from Google as to what's going on...

1 comment:

theillien said...

I think both of my accounts were among the first. They were being accessed from China and Japan. There weren't any spam emails sent from either and Google was responsive in getting control back to me (by the time I found out my passwords had already been changed). I now have a password that is by far the longest and most complex I've ever used. Variants of it have also been applied to other services such as PayPal.

The day and a half of not having control of my email accounts was among the most stressful times in my life.