There has been an increase in hacked email accounts over the last month. A hacked email account means that somebody has your email password and you need to change your email password ASAP. How do you know if your email account has been hacked? You will start to see undeliverable email messages showing up in your email box. The emails are bouncing back to you because they were sent FROM your email account. Now they are bouncing back to you because they are bad email addresses. The bounced back email will say things like, delivery to the following recipient failed permanently, email rejected by domain server, error code 550 recipient address rejected, user unknown, bad address, message could not be delivered, following address(es) failed, SMTP error from remote mail server, nobody here by that name, etc. Typically, you will see a large amount of these bounceback emails show up in your inbox and you know your password was hacked.
What should you do if your email password is hacked?
Change it immediately. Most email providers have a webmail program where you can login and reset your password. Or contact your email administrator. Change your password to something more secure. More characters, upper case, lower case, numbers, letters and special characters. After you change your password to something secure you are good to go. You will see emails bouncing back to you for a couple days but that is normal. The email is just working itself out and bouncing around on the Internet trying to get thru.
How did they get your email password?
That is hard to say. They could have guessed the password by running a program to try combinations until they get it. They could have pulled the password off of your computer. Your computer should be checked for Malware / Viruses in case they obtained your password thru something malicious installed on your computer. For example, a key logger program that records your keystrokes. They could have intercepted your password over an insecure network. Anytime you are on a public wifi network your email password is passed over the network as you check your email. You will never know for sure how they got your password. If you are using the same password for all of your accounts then you need to update your password for all of your accounts and use different variations for different web sites.
Why do they hack email accounts?
They steal your email password so they can use your email account to spam mass amounts of people. When they get access to your email account they send thousands of emails out of your account blasting people with malicious links and random Internet garbage. It is mostly annoying more than anything else. They do it because they can.
If you are an IDP customer and you think your email has been hacked please contact firstname.lastname@example.org right away. We can help you get your password changed and make sure everything else is OK.
IDP has been providing email and website hosting in Kansas City for the last 11 years. We have seen and dealt with about every form of hacking and malicious code injection issue that you can experience. Unfortunately, the WWW is the Wild Wild West, the last frontier – Cowboys and Indians.