The Hacker Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 327

A client of mine called, panic-stricken, reporting that his email account was hacked and the invoice he recently emailed one of his clients was resubmitted to the client (by the hacker) and the money (tens of thousands of dollars) as the payment for his invoice was wired to an offshore bank account.

I advised my client to immediately contact the police, FBI, his bank and his client as well as change all his passwords.

How can this happen? Several possibilities exist, and I suspect that one of these three are most likely to have happened:

  1. My client received a call from someone professing to provide a needed technical support to his computer or operating software. Then allowing them access to his computer or sharing his login information.
  2. My client clicked on a fraudulent link (URL) sent to him via email, which required him to enter his username and password.
  3. My client accessed a public Wi-Fi connection and enter his username and password.

My top 7 recommendations:

  1. Never, ever, share your login information to your email or financial institution or social media platforms with anyone.
  2. Change your passwords every quarter and immediately when you suspect the possibility of a fraudulent activity.
  3. Do not enter your username and password when accessing public computers or Wi-Fi hotspot connections.
  4. Never click on a link, provided in an email sent to you, that takes you to any of your financial institution web sites, social media platforms or your email login.
  5. Keep your computer security, anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date.
  6. Choose longer passwords that are hard to figure out.
  7. Never open attachments from strangers and use commonsense when you are about to open an attachment from recognized senders.

Although stressful few months and very time-consuming for my client, I am glad to report that he was able to finally get his money back.

Don’t take your security for granted.

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