Author Topic: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?  (Read 1344 times)

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snappylt

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Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« on: February 07, 2013, 06:12:40 PM »
Three days ago I received what appeared to be an e-mail from my wife's uncle.  There was no subject line, and the body of the message just contained a link to a URL in another country.

I'm certain that the message was some sort of virus or malware attack, not actually an e-mail sent by my wife's uncle.

(I'm ashamed to admit that I'm certain of that because a couple of years ago I very foolishly clicked on a link in a similar message that only appeared to be from my wife's cousin.  It took me hours and hours to clean my computer after that mistake!)

Anyway, what is the polite thing to do in a case like this?

When it happened a couple of years ago, after I cleaned my computer I sent a very polite note to my wife's cousin, telling her I knew that she didn't send the message herself but that I thought she should know that I thought her e-mail account had been hijacked.  (I also told her exactly how I had cleaned my computer, in case she wanted to pass that information along to other victims, although I hoped I was the only one foolish enough to click on that link.)  My wife's cousin sent me a nice reply, and everything was fine.

When the message supposedly from my wife's uncle came this week, I deleted it and sent him a separate note telling him very politely that I thought his account had been compromised.

There's been no reply from the uncle after three days.

I've done my duty by politely informing him, correct?  (It would be overkill on my part to try to contact him again to be sure he knows, right?)  He's being a little rude by not replying, isn't he?  (Or am I too sensitive in expecting a reply?)

JenJay

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 06:20:24 PM »
I think you're fine. I don't think he's being rude by not responding because possibly he hasn't seen your email if he doesn't check it all that often or maybe he got 50 replies along the same lines as yours and he can't respond to everyone. If you or your wife talk to him somewhat regularly you could call and give him a heads up, otherwise I'd imagine someone closer to him will have told him about it so you're probably okay in not going out of your way to try to contact him about it again.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 06:22:13 PM »
I wouldn't think he is rude to not respond.  His PC might be out of commission because he's infected, his email might have been quarantined by his provider to keep any more infection from spreading, or he might have been inundated with a ton of people who sent him a note telling him he was infected.

You've done your duty of letting him know.  Now I'd just forget about it. 

newbiePA

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 09:38:37 PM »
Both of you did fine. You were polite to mention the hacking, he was fine not to respond. My email was compromised about a year ago, and it took me about 12 hours to get back into the system and change my passwords.  By that time, I probably had over 50 messages telling me that my email had been hacked. Yep , I know, sorry, can't go back in time.

Mikayla

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 11:56:31 AM »
I agree with PPs that both of you were fine.  When this happened to me, I must have gotten 100 emails alerting me, and I responded to maybe 3 of them (which was fun - they were people I'd lost touch with!). 

Need to Change

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 04:10:38 PM »
That sort of thing seems to happen to anybody who's got an e-mail address.  Usually, it's not because the person Did Wrong in any way.

The standard fix is for the affected person to change their e-mail password.  That may be good advice to pass on to your Uncle.

When it hit my address, I answered everybody who replied -- mostly because a couple of them complained about not being able to open the link.  (Yikes!)  Up 'til then, I thought everyone knew about spoofing and hacks.  Turned out they didn't all know, so I felt obliged to perform a "public service" by explaining what happened and warning them never to open an e-mail that looks like that.

Other folks' e-mail contacts, however, may be more savvy, so they can skip that step.

chibichan

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 06:03:33 PM »
I've had my e-mail hijacked twice . The first time , I freaked out - I tried to send a mass e-mail to everyone on my contact list to let them know the spam e-mail wasn't from me and to not click on any links . Of course , Hotmail would not let me send it because it looked like I was the spammer and it promptly locked me out of my account . Sigh...

The second time , I had a better understanding of what had actually happened ( I'm not all that computer-literate ) and I simply changed my password , then sent out " Heads up " e-mails to my contacts in small batches . Most people did not reply .

I was astounded by the number of people I know who have had this happen to them .

Tech-savvy E-Hellions - what exactly happens when your contacts are hijacked ? I have heard the phrase Spambot used , but I am not sure if this is the correct term . Just curious about the mechanics...
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

Aeris

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 08:23:05 PM »
Funny, my email was just hijacked today. I got a ton of "I think you were hacked" notes from friends and family. I have actually responded to all of them, but I don't think it would have been rude for me not to. There were a lot of them, and I responded with a single sentence I copy/pasted each time. If someone had sent me a long email explaining in detail what had happened and what I should do, I am not positive I would respond, actually.

Also, I generally DON'T respond to hackspam from people I'm not fairly close to, as I figure the people they are in more constant contact with will already have inundated them with notes.

So I think you were fine to respond, if perhaps a bit verbose, and it's unsurprisingly and not rude that he hasn't responded.

lurkerwisp

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Re: Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 01:26:18 PM »
Just as an FYI - it's also possible that your email account is compromised and someone is sending links to you that only appear to be from your uncle in an attempt to compromise your computer.  A friend recently informed me that I was sending him malicious links and further investigation revealed that actually his account was compromised and not my own.