You can’t turn on the news these days without hearing stories about hacked emails. I shudder when I hear the word “hack”. There was a time when it meant something different with a more skilled definition. Now, any time anyone does anything a bit out of the ordinary, they’ve “hacked it”. Really? Well, I guess the language evolves and it’s up to us to support or ignore the use of the word.
In the case of the US Election race, it doesn’t take long to find the word in a title of a news article. The context is used to describe how those emails were taken. It would be impressive to think that some skill programmer wrote a routine that bypassed the security on a server and then used FTP to download the content. It appears that it was much more simple than that. Here are a couple of good reads.
Both are interesting reading and describe our times.
If you do a search for the actual email message, you’ll find all kinds of references to it and yet, they all seem to link to a broken page.
Stepping back from all this, the advice to avoid this happening to you is just plain safe computing.
How many times have you heard the advice “Don’t click on links that appear in unsolicited messages”. If the stories above are true, then that piece of advice would have made all of this a non-story.
You know the drill; your email account has a Spam, Junk Email, or something else folder. Artificial intelligence is provided by your provider to try to catch this stuff and route it away from your main mailbox. You actually have to go out of your way to open the messages. You may even get an additional warning message to keep you away from them.
Even legitimate looking mail messages can be scary at times. The savvy user hovers their cursor over any link to see exactly where you’d go if you decided to click. Then, there’s another layer to protect yourself – Multi-factor Authentication. It stops a new agent from accessing your account until it’s authenticated twice.
So, that’s all in the good learning for some and I know that highly sophisticated people that read this blog will view this as a review of good practice.
But, what would be the outcome if the worse ever happened? What would the impact on your digital life be?
Take a look at your inbox. Do you have any messages there that would put you in the headlines if they were revealed?
I know that mine would pretty much put any hacker to sleep. I live such a boring digital life. How about you?