“SEXTORTION” – I Have Been Hacked!
23rd September 2018 by Grant McCormick
Imagine my surprise when I received an email in my Inbox containing my password in the Subject line – “ Your Password is xxxxxxxxx”!
The email goes on to say that you have been watching Porn, they have filmed you, have all your contacts & will distribute if you don’t pay a Bitcoin Ransom. Luckily I don’t have a penchant for pornography & never visit dodgy sites on any of my devices, so immediately recognised the Scam & reported to Action Fraud.
I was still left with a sick feeling in my stomach at the intrusion, the nature of the email & more importantly that somebody had stolen one of my passwords. On consideration the email & password combination had only existed on a Google Account that I had since changed many times.
A few weeks ago I made a Linkedin Post on the importance of password selection – number & type of characters etc. This however has led me to focus on something that lacked from that post – the number of your Passwords, variance & the frequency you change your passwords? My password was stolen some time ago but has only just been used, so you may have to assume that all of your passwords have been stolen unless you really know otherwise?? To mitigate this I would suggest –
- Have multiple but varying Passwords
- Change your Passwords frequently
- Use 2 Step or Multi-Factor Authentication
Remember if you only have a one Password fits all policy – they will steal from the weakest account & use it to access all of your accounts!
Controversial but… If you have so many complex passwords & feel you have to write them on a piece of paper & store safely, what is the chance someone will break into your house or office looking for Passwords, or steal your purse/wallet in order to obtain passwords rather than Cash or Credit Cards – just don’t keep the 2 together?. Besides Passwords can be changed quicker than you can cancel Credit Cards & we wouldn’t be without them. I am a systems rather than an IT Tech person, so seek out good advise…