My Email

As many of you probably know, my email account for this blog was hacked on Friday morning and a message sent to everyone in my address book, claiming I was in Valencia and needed cash because I’d been robbed.

Well, really!

Even more deviously, the hackers had found a way to intercept all my emails, in case anyone decided to try to send me cash.  They had wiped my address book out, so it took a while to figure out who had the message might have reached.

I can only hope that people who know me well enough to have had some email contact realise that I would never, ever send out a general appeal for cash, and that it is extremely unlikely I would ever be outside the British Isles on my own. If all else failed, I can only hope you would know that I can both spell and punctuate. This is what I don’t understand about hackers. How can they possibly be so clever and so illiterate all at once? Mr Litlove felt it was a case of impressive concept, poor execution.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that, despite repeated attempts to sort out my account, we cannot manage to undo all the devilry the hackers wrought on  my account. We thought we’d cracked it this morning, but no, I am still not receiving emails. So if you have the old litlove1 email address in your book, PLEASE DELETE IT. I’m going to have to abandon this account entirely now, I think, and find another provider. As soon as I’ve sorted it, I’ll put the new contact details on this blog.

I’m really sorry about all this – it is a complete pain in the neck and I do hope nobody was worried about me for a moment.




7 thoughts on “My Email

  1. It seemed extremely suspicious to me, but apparently this is become highly common and escalating. The situation inspired me to write a post about it:

    This draws heavily on the article by James Fallows in the most recent Atlantic Monthly (November 2011) called Hacked!

    which he wrote because the exact same thing happened to his wife with the exact same email message (only Madrid instead of Valencia), perpetrated by Nigerian organized crime. He was able to fix the situation because as a journalist he had a lot of friends at Google (it was gmail), but most of us would have lost everything. My favorite quote:

    At Google I asked Byrant Gehring, of Gmail’s consumer-operations team, how often attacks occur. “Probably in the low thousands,” he said. “Per month?,” I asked. “No, per day,” followed by the reassurance that most were short-lived “hijackings,” used to send spam and phishing messages, and caused little or no damage, unlike our full-out attack. My wife and I, having heard from half a dozen friends who’d recently had similar problems, had innocently imagined that we all were part of some general upsurge in Gmail attacks. In our grandiosity, we thought it was perhaps even aimed at journalists. But according to the experts, while there are more e‑mail attacks worldwide than a year ago, it was mere coincidence that people we knew had been hit around the same time. On average, half a dozen accounts are taken over every two or three minutes, round the clock, including now.

    We are all equally vulnerable and it is getting worse. Never use the same password twice and keep them complicated. Back up everything, not just in Google’s cloud but also on both your hard drive and at least two separate zip drive kept in two separate places. Our internet data is just not very secure. Clever Nigerians who can’t leave their country to become the next Steve Jobs make a living by hacking into the internet for money, making hundreds of dollars a day. Only, as Mr. Litlove pointed out, it is shocking that their punctuation continues to be so atrocious, as they have been at some version of this for over a decade. Good thing for us, though.

  2. Squirrel – Thank you for that excellent information. I had no idea that this scam was happening, but now you (and a couple of other people) have sent me links to articles about it. The difficulty seems to be in protecting your password. Thankfully, I do have different passwords to all my accounts, and my main one is owned by the university who are reasonably good at security. Usually I keep a note or a paper copy of emails with important information (and oddly enough, although my spam and trash folders were cleaned out, my inbox was fine – what, were my messages too dull to delete???? 😉 ) so I’d not be too vexed if the account was emptied. But the HASSLE! Gah. Thank goodness the relatively poor English language skills of the hackers make their decoy attempts highly suspicious!

    Harriet – that is so very kind of you – thank you for the much appreciated sympathy!

  3. Ah, so you didn’t get my oh so clever email! 🙂 It’s a pity that someone so smart who can hack into private accounts can’t use their abilities for something worthwhile. Then again, what planet do I live on. I am still dealing with my own annoying computer virus. I keep hoping there will be some sort of payback for this sort of nasty stuff. Sorry to hear about the hacking–I know just how much time you’ll have to spend trying to get it sorted when you would prefer doing something else!

  4. Poor you! Poor you! It is such a pain when that happens! Poor Litlove, poor you! I would be very sad and annoying if I had to change my email address to something different.

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