Ivor O’Connor

February 1, 2009

My GMail Got Hacked!

Filed under: bash, howto, Linux, tutorial, ubuntu, Uncategorized — Tags: , — ioconnor @ 7:39 pm

I have not been changing my passwords. So some Chinese hackers got into my email account, like they have done with thousands of others from yahoo, hotmail, etc., and sent the following message:

New shopping new life!
How are u doing these days?Yesterday I found a web of a large trading company from china,which is an agent of all the well-known digital product factories,and facing to both wholesalers,retailsalers,and personal customer all over the world. They export all kinds of digital products and offer most competitive and reasonable price and high quality goods for our clients,so i think we you make a big profit if we do business with them.And they promise they will provide the best after-sales-service.In my opinion we can make a trial order to test that.
Look forward to your early reply!
The Web address: http://www.stuffunion.com
E-mail: stuffunion@188.com
MSN : stuffunion@live.cn

When you google this company you see they have collected quite a bit of money from unsuspecting people over the years. It’s like the Nigerian emails. However they keep the interest up by hacking email and spreading their outfit as if the person who sent the email is actually endorsing them. Finally they delete out all of your address book.

I’m going to go back to using Thunderbird as my email client instead of relying on the web interface. And only accessing it via linux. (I noticed I got hacked when I used M$.) And I’ll start using pgp again. I also downloaded a password maker so I can type “makepasswd -chars 20” and then stick the passwords up on a sheet on the wall so I don’t lose them. I did that already with gmail.

Update 2009.03.31
I’ve noticed some sites only allow passwords built with certain characters. Or some rate the strength of your password. Some require special characters or only rate your password as strong until you use special characters. In these situations supply a string like the one below:

makepasswd --chars 30 --string 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890\!@#$%^&*'

UPDATE 2009.06.01 I noticed cutting and pasting from the above did not work because wordpress changed the characters. So I updated the above with the ascii codes from HTML ASCII Reference and HTML ISO-8859-1 Reference. Now it should be a simple copy and paste.


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