Many of our clients have reported recent messages from individuals claiming to have intercepted their username and password. These emails often state they have been watching and recording your screen activity and webcam.
Typically, attackers threaten to share the video to your contacts, colleagues and social media channels. They demand payment in Bitcoin to keep the so called information they have private.
Where Have the Attacks Come From?
Sometime when hackers have claimed to have the victims’ password, this has turned out to be true.
Over the last few years, many large websites have suffered enormous hacks which have released confidential details of their users online. Services such as LinkedIn, Yahoo and Myspace have all suffered massive and devastating hacks. Some users of these services are still feeling the consequences today.
The details leaked from these sites (and others facing the same issues), are sold online for years after the initial breach. Hackers buy username and password combinations in the hopes of reusing them to access services, steal money and / or blackmail their owners.
How to Respond
If you have been contacted by one of these hackers, it is a scary reality that they could have access to your credentials, data and other online services.
The only thing you can do in response to this type of email is to ignore it. This “we have your details” email is a scam made much more believable because they probably do have one of your real passwords gained from a site hack.
That said, accounts that share the same password should be changed immediately and the security on any additional services you use should be updated too.
Self Defense On the Web
When using online services having a strong unique passphrase for every site is your number one defense. A good password manager makes this practical and straightforward too.
Using a different password for each site you use means that hackers can only gain access to one site at a time. A hack in one place will never compromise your other accounts as you aren’t revealing every password that you use.
People often think that maintaining many passwords is hard work but it’s almost always easier to keep tabs with a password manager.
A high quality and secure password manager such as LastPass, Keypass or 1Password, can help you keep track of all your logins efficiently and securely. They often offer the chance to improve your security by generating random and strong passwords that hackers will have a tougher time cracking.
Password management services offer a host of features that help you log in, remind you to refresh your security and even make your safety a number one priority. After using a manager for just a short time, you will be forgiven for wondering how you managed without it.
If you think you might have been hacked or want to prevent it from ever happening, contact us at 661-263-4442