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April 8, 2009

Last night, while I was sleeping, I became a victim. Of hackers. My Gmail email account was hacked into. Apparently some genius of an asshole decided to send out an email to my entire address book about something regarding electronics and China. Obviously, being a spam email, it doesn’t really have a whole lot of logic to it. There weren’t any attachments or links in it either, so it’s not a virus email. It’s just a stupid spam email with my name attached to it.

When I woke up, I had 48 emails in my inbox. Understand, when I wake up in the morning, I usually have 10 emails. They’re my regular emails from Daily Candy, the New York Times, and a few other mailing list emails that I get but never read. 48 emails is a lot of emails for me. I’d love to get 48 real emails, because I love getting email from people. But sadly, this was pretend email. Most of the emails were “Mail undeliverable.” I immediately though, “Uh oh” because I had not sent out any emails last night. Well, certainly not that many emails.

As I scrolled through the emails, they were all the same, the same spammy email about electronics and China. A couple of fellow bloggers, Lee Ann and Scott, let me know that they had received the email and that it had been hacked. I also received a few tweets, and later in the morning, a few more emails that my account had been hacked.

Yes. I know my account has been hacked. Just so we’re clear, you don’t need to email me about it.

When I got to work, I immediately went to our IT department.

“Last night my Gmail was hacked. I was wondering if you could take a look at the security on my computer,” I said. My IT guy checked my anti-virus (all clear) and ran an anti-spyware program (also all clear). He told me that sometimes emails get through Gmail that have code that act like virus, proliferating emails through someone’s address book. He told me that changing my password and being careful about opening spam emails that get through the filter and into my inbox is probably the only way to prevent it. I don’t think my computer at home is compromised, because I have a Macbook (!) and I have heard only glowing things about their security. He said that Gmail is supposed to take care of that sort of thing, but admitted that Gmail’s security isn’t always the greatest.

Hopefully it won’t happen again. It’s kind of annoying. I’m glad it wasn’t a virus or anything. That would suck. But it’s still annoying to know that I’ve been the victim of spam. Stupid hack bastards.

  1. April 8, 2009 1:25 PM

    Ugh. How irritating. But I’m glad that your computer is virus-free and spyware-free! That’s the worst.

  2. April 8, 2009 1:40 PM

    Gmail must be a pretty tempting target, I get 300+ junk e-mails daily (compared to 3-4 on Hotmail). Good to know you don’t have anything living inside your computer though. Those can be scary!

  3. April 8, 2009 1:51 PM

    Yeah, I got some email from you today that was spam. Figured it was something like that.

  4. April 9, 2009 12:04 PM

    Like Kathy, I get a lot of gmail spam (fortunately gmail filters out >99% of it). For my normal e-mail accounts, I know enough that any header that includes any of my own e-mail address (or any variant of it) are spam/phishing e-mails, as well as any “mail undeliverable” e-mails and anything in which the subject matter includes the personal identifier of my e-mail address rather than my given name. (It helps that no part of my legal name is part of any of my personal e-mail addresses.)

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