This is the second time spam mail has been sent using my account! The first time it happened was last year (or least that was the last time I was aware) but even doing a thorough virus and spyware scam I could not find the cause. Then this morning I checked my email via pop server and again it has happened. Undelivered mail bounced back! And I even manage to see a copy of the mail which was recommending some electronic site!! My contacts had been compromised!
However this time round I managed to investigate and find the likely cause. How? Well for one I noticed that some of the address that was used in my contact list was outdated. Then I also noticed that the email sent was using my initials instead of my name which I had changed quite sometime ago. Checking my account setup for my pop server accounts showed that it did not orginate from my PC, also my current updated contact list no longer contained some of the addresses which was targetted.
Next I logged on to all my accounts one by one via webmail and suspected that it was actually from one of my gmail accounts! How did it happen? I still have no clue! Because the ‘sent mail’ or ‘all mail’ option did not show any history of the offending mails. However the contact list was the one used, moreover I did not change the name on the web version and so it would reflect my intials instead of my name had I chose to send mail via the web based gmail option. My account had been compromised! But how long ago I’d probably never know…..
Interestingly enough I found at the bottom of Gmail you can now check last account activity, something I had not noticed before. I found one entry under ‘browser’ ( this means accessed via browser instead of pop server) which occured 5 hours earlier at 0136hrs obviously not by me since I was asleep! Doing a Whois on the IP address 22.214.171.124 the description came up with ‘LANGFANG ip pool for adsl CNCGroup-HE,LangFang City,Hebei province’!
Thankfully, apart from offending emails I don’t see any other sercurity breach which could have happened had they read certain of my emails. Or is that in progress??? *shudders* Well anyhow I have since deleted all my contacts via the web version, reset my password access and run a full system scan on my notebook just to be safe.
Here are some important notes to remember!
- Use a secure connection when signing in to Gmail. In your Gmail settings, select ‘Always use HTTPS.’ This setting protects your information from being stolen when you are signing in to Gmail on a public wireless network, like at a cafe or hotel.
- Also, to make sure that no one gains unauthorized access to your account:
- Never tell anyone your password or security question and answer, and don’t write them down.
- Never send this information by email.
- Never give out your gmail password after following a link sent to you in an email. Access gmail directly by typing mail.google.com in your browser’s address bar.
- Don’t reuse your Gmail password on other websites.
- Periodically change your password and security question.
- Keep your secondary address up to date.
Talk about timing, I just got this link to an article which is IMPORTANT YOU READ!