Breakout of Internet Security Attacks
In the past few days I have received a number of emails from companies about how “Epsilon” their outsourced email vendor was hacked, and my email address was made available to these attackers.
Now, it’s not really a problem that someone knows my email address…it’s on my business cards, and I give it out freely to friends, colleagues, customers, etc.
But how many of those people know that I am on the email distribution list for promotions from a certain store or hotel? Or that I bank a certain bank?
So why is this news important and scary?
Well it’s not just that someone got my email address. The reason for concern is that someone with a high-level of technical skill and a small regard for the law, now has my email address and knows the bank that I bank at, and stores that I get promotional emails from.
So now let’s say that I got weekly emails from Walgreens about their sales (I don’t get any such email), and these hackers now this…they can easily send an email formatted to look just a Walgreens email but has an fantastic deal that I am encouraged to click on…unfortunately for me or anyone who clicks on such a link, it isn’t going to go to Walgreens, or any deal…but it might start the downloading of software that is going to spy on my actions, and (they bad guys hope) catch me entering bank or credit card information.
I don’t mean to sound like a fear monger, but there is a lot of reason to be concerned about this. For some great tips on how to safely proceed, have a look at this post by Brian Krebs. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/04/after-epsilon-avoiding-phishing-scams-malware/