By Kim Christiansen
IT security specialist
We’ve been tackling hackers who have targeted a few of our readers who use Yahoo (and other) email by somehow placing fake “click here” messages in the email alerts we send to our readers.
We’ve tracked these guys down (Panama) and they are well-known scammers. But our efforts to get rid of them have fallen short, mainly because they are sneaky and know how to bend the rules to their favor.
Here’s what we know so far:
- The hackers are targeting users of Yahoo email services. This includes emails that end in Yahoo.com, frontier.com, citlink.com, verizon.net and aol.com. All of these companies are owned by Verizon Media and Verizon moved these email services to Yahoo years ago.
- We’re talking less than a dozen people so far that have come forward.
- We DON’T think this is a problem with Yahoo.com or any service provided by Verizon Media – their servers and services seem reasonably safe and secure.
- We DO think that hackers got a hold of several readers passwords and have had their accounts breached by hackers (not because of their relationship with RVtravel.com) and that is how they are messing around with them. We can’t confirm this at this time.
If you’re wondering how your email account could be breached, that is, unfortunately, all too easy. Each year many companies are hacked. These hacks usually involve email addresses, user passwords and sometimes financial information. And because so many people re-use the same password over and over, email accounts are usually the first stop for hackers once they have that information.
For the record, RVtravel.com itself does not retain any of our readers’ email addresses or other information. Our email list is maintained by a large and reputable company that specializes in email distribution for publishers and marketers.
So, out of an abundance of caution we’d like to recommend that all of our readers who have email addresses that end with Yahoo.com, Frontier.com, citlink.com, verizon.net or aol.com immediately change your email password. PLEASE – make up a new password, one that you have never used before and not just adding a letter or number to your existing password. This Yahoo page has info on changing your password.
I’d like to recommend a service I’ve personally used for several years, 1Password. 1Password is a password manager that creates and stores unique and complex passwords for every single online account you have. You only have to remember ONE password – the app remembers the rest.
Beyond just storing passwords, 1Password has a feature that scours your existing passwords looking for simple re-used or hacked passwords. It works on Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android. And best of all, when you create and save a new password on your PC, it shows up on your iPhone right away.
I can’t really say enough good things about 1Password. You can sign up here.
A family plan (up to 5 users) is just under $60 a year. There’s also a monthly plan if that’s more your style. Get 1Password, get peace of mind and get your password situation under control! You won’t be sorry.
We need your help to stop these bad guys. We’re not giving up on this (including trying to involve law enforcement) but until we can make some headway, we wanted to make sure YOU are protected. So please, change your password as soon as possible.