Newark Town Councilor’s Yahoo! Account Hijacked

It happened on October 24, 2009, when friends and associates of Mr. Lawrence Goff, a Newark-based Town Councilor (Nottinghamshire, UK), started receiving an e-mail, according to which, he was in Spain, lost his wallet, and his possessions were in hold of the hotel management. He had to settle the hotel bill in order to regain his belongings. Ironically, the councilor was at his home at that time, as reported by Newark Advertiser on October 30, 2009.

As per the details of the e-mail scam, it was revealed that the incident took place when Mr. Goff received an e-mail, supposedly from Yahoo, his e-mail provider, which asked him to change his password.

The fake e-mail contained the Yahoo emblem, which made Mr. Goff believe that it was a genuine message and respond to the e-mail with changed password. This facilitated the hackers with an access to his account and locked him out.

The hackers further sent a send-to-all e-mail, recipients of which included Ministers of Parliament (MPs), fellow councilors and the Advertiser. As per the e-mail, 1,500 Euros were required to be sent via Western Union.

A Police Spokesperson of Nottinghamshire, UK, said that in order to secure the e-mail from being hacked, a strong password must be chosen. Also, the password should not contain any sort of date or name of the user that may prompt hackers. A host of websites that can help chose a strong password is available on the Internet, according to a statement published by thisisnottingham.co.uk on October 27, 2009.

The spokesperson also advised the users to be wary of password-related communications, which include banks as well as e-mails from their e-mail or Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Further, to reduce such e-mail scams, Yahoo also commented on its own website. It sated that while communicating through Yahoo! Messenger and other properties, such as chat rooms or message boards, the users should use an alias rather than their Yahoo! ID.

Moreover, users are also suggested to use disposable e-mail addresses. Yahoo's latest feature, Mail Plus facilitates users to create temporary e-mail address. Users can sign up with the address and then delete it when the purpose is solved.

Related article: NERC Released Alert on Stuxnet malware and Calls for Rugged Software

» SPAMfighter News - 12-11-2009

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