Watch out for privacy violations: You are being tracked by your fovourite websites

Financial Times - FT tracker websites
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesonline privacy

How many websites do you visit every day now. You must be checking your email. That used to be the primary function for most of the internet users in the early days of the internet. If I could go by the fact that you are reading this blog post, instead of reading some printed technology magazine, you are most likely to check the daily news online as well. Let me make another guess now.

So, do you think the news websites most visited by the internet generation are the ones that were the most popular when there was not internet. Yes, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and let us also consider the Financial Times for the sake of taking a European news paper. Now, all of these newspapers have their websites and have paid subscriptions as well as free content for their readers. Continue reading “Watch out for privacy violations: You are being tracked by your fovourite websites”

Yahoo mail hacked and sending automails to Microsoft

Snap shot of a spam mail sent by hacked yahoo mail
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesemail security

My yahoo mail account has again been compromised. It again seems to be an organized attack of the hackers.

The last time this happened, thousands of accounts around the world were affected.

The worst thing to know is that the accounts are accessed not from around where you are located, but from a location where you have never been in the past, let alone recently. So, the question of you revealing your password to some stranger by mistake does not arrive.

How are hackers able to access yahoo mail accounts

There are only two possibilities for this.

  1. Password compromised.  There are various ways that can lead to your password falling in wrong hands.
  • You reveal your password to a stranger by mistake. It can happen if someone overlooked while you were typing your password. The chances of this happening are quite slim. So, this can be ruled out very easily.
  • There is a key logger installed on the system that you used recently to access your yahoo mail. This is one of the most common way through which people end up revealing their passwords to someone else. Key loggers are generally installed on a system in the following ways: –  a) You frequently visit shady websites and download and install software that are offered for free, b) You download software, videos, music, or games from P2P (peer to peer) download sites, c) You use a flash drive from someone else that is already infested with a virus that auto-installs the key logger software. d) Someone does a espionage on you and installs the key logger on your ssytem (You need to be a big shot either politically or at a high position in a business for this to happen to you).
  1. Yahoo has a crappy account security system and they don’t care about user accounts being compromised
    Most likely this is the case you might have suffered from. Yahoo accounts have a history of being compromised and that is not a recent phenomenon. This has been going on since eons. Yahoo has undergone so many leadership changes that their hands are always full handling the changes of strategy by the new management.

So, what is the solution to this nightmare. You don’t want your email account sending mails that you would not want to send when you were in your senses. That is exactly what happened to my email account. There were emails sent from my account to my near and dear ones and the content of the mail was … of course a spam mail.

Snap shot of a spam mail sent by hacked yahoo mail
Snap shot of a spam mail sent by hacked yahoo mail

Above is a snap shot of a website that opens if yspamou click on the link sent in the spam mail sent by your hacked yahoo mail account. These mail are used to lure people into submitting their personal information to the website.

Website opened after clicking on link in the spam mail sent by my account
Website opened after clicking on link in the spam mail sent by my hacked yahoo mail account

Now, what is common between both the above websites. The design looks similar. So, it means the designer or the hoax mail being sent are from the same source. Although the hackers are trying to send many mails, some of them fail due to the accounts in my contact list are not active any more.

Hacked Yahoo mail account sending spam mails
Hacked Yahoo mail account sending spam mails

Hacked Yahoo mail account sending spam mails. The mails sometimes fail to deliver and your account is filled with non delivery notifications.

What more, they have sued my account to send an email to Microsoft regarding some service complaint. I did not have any problems with any Microsoft software recently. Are they trying to do something nasty here… It is becoming to fgo out of hand.

On top of all this, I came to know that the account had been accessed from locations that I have never visited at all. This is completely ridiculous. How can yahoo let these goons take control of the accounts of their customers. They need to wake up and start taking user privacy seriously now.

hackeed yahoo mail access locations
hackeed yahoo mail access locations

The recent activity record also shows some log ins that I have never done. So, it is a clear indication of some organized hacking going on into yahoo mail accounts. Here is a snapshot of the recent access history of my yahoo account.

hacked yahoo mail access history
hacked yahoo mail access history

I think Merissa Meyer should start listening to the continuous complaints of yahoo users and start taking security seriously or they will have one more lost loyal customer.

PS: I wrote an article about it earlier and how to make your yahoo account more secure.

Changes in Google’s Privacy Policy – why so much hue and cry

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesonline privacy

Starting the March 01, 2011, Google’s privacy policy for all its products for free users have been clubbed to make a single privacy document. Google’s take on this is that, they wanted to make the privacy policy statement and document easier for the customers and more simplistic.

Continue reading “Changes in Google’s Privacy Policy – why so much hue and cry”