Viagra Anyone? An E-mail Hack Attack

Viagra anyone?  This seems like an odd question to come from yours truly and the strangeness of it was not missed by my dearest friends and family who received a link to a  Viagra ad from me yesterday afternoon.  Shortly after the e-mail was sent from my Hotmail account my cell phone started receiving text messages and phone calls at an alarming rate.  Messages ranged from “You’ve been hacked, change your password ASAP” to “Why are you sending me Viagra ads?.”  Luckily the hack was caught pretty quickly and I was able to immediately change my password and harm wasn’t really done since I primarily use the Hotmail account as my “junk mail” decoy.

Soon after the incident I did a mental inventory of my activities of the past few days to try and figure out how the hack happened.  I realized that this was most likely connected to an interaction with my LinkedIn account.  I had visited the site early in the day and was told my password was invalid.  The site bumped me to my Hotmail where I could receive a new password that they had e-mailed me for security purposes.  In the rush of the day and my immediate need to grab information this did not strike me as odd but I realize now I was likely sent to phishing site.

I posted about this incident on Facebook and found that many other have recently endured the same type of incident.  One of my friends jokingly said she had cried herself to sleep every night after her friend’s husband started sending her weight loss ads on a consistent basis.  Another friend had said that she also connected a recent hack to her LinkedIn account.  This prompted me to do a little research and I discovered that this is a known problem and there numerous articles on the net that talk about millions being impacted by the LinkedIn hack.  For anyone reading, beware of LinkedIn as it seems that the problem has yet to be solved to date.  Following are some additional helpful links I found about projecting yourself online:

1) LinkedIn hacked: How to protect yourself online

2) After Zappos hack, how to protect yourself online

3) What to do when your e-mail gets hacked

4) Hack Attack! What to Do if Your Email is Hacked

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