Yesterday morning you may have received an email from “bharshaw at hotmail.com” with no subject which contained a url, probably ending in “176.xxx” where the “xxx” is a file type, usually an image one but not always. There was also a post on my facelessbureaucrat blog. I’m still not sure what happened but it appears my hotmail and possibly google passwords were hacked and someone used my email account to spam you. As far as I know now the url did not contain a virus (my wife got one, which she opened, but full scans of my PC using McAfee didn’t reveal any virus. But since I’m no expert:
- if you did click on the url and open it, please be sure your security software is running and up-to-date. Let me know if you have any problems.
- if you didn’t click on it, delete the message and congratulate yourself on following the prime rule for email safety: never open an unexpected url or attachment. Check first.I’m now changing my passwords, following the experience of James Fallows after his wife’s account was hacked (see his http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/hacked/8673/ –but don’t click on that—go to the Atlantic website and search for “Fallows password” to see the sequence of posts he put up. Long story short, he went to Lastpass, which is a free password manager and permits you to have strong passwords for individual accounts.
My apologies for endangering your security.