In the past week, I have:
1. Fallen victim to a phishing attack generated from Craigslist (my own stupid fault!)
2. Received 1/2 dozen or more spam email messages generated from a friend’s computer that is the victim of a virus /worm mass-mailer (these are in addition to the normal set of 100 or so phishing scams I receive per week)
3. Seen our church’s web site get attacked by a very sophisticated web site attacker
4. Was contacted regarding my post in “for sale” on Craigslist by a fellow who said he was going to “send” us a check we could print and deposit in the bank (SCAM!)
In the past year and a half, I’ve been:
5. Scammed by a fellow off eBay (pd. $1,750 for a MacBook Pro computer I never received).
6. Probably received 3,000 phishing attacks in my email inbox (most goto junk, thank you hotmail, and most of those are “nigerian scams”).
7. Had to change my passwords -everywhere- twice, because my account at Hotmail was somehow hijacked and used to send out spam to my contacts list and again because I just fell victim to a phishing attack (noted in #1 above)
The amount of evil activity on the Internet is increasing as far as I can tell. I am definitely not an isolated case, as can be evidenced by my friend’s computer ( a brand new box!) getting infected with some sort of virus / worm mass-mailer. Given that I, a supposed “expert” in the Internet and all things computing, fell victim to a phishing attack where the attackers gained my password (that’s a password that’s been used by myself for over 25 years and it’s never been broken or compromised!), I would say that evil is definitely gaining ground. We all cannot be vigilant 100% of the time. Most of us are vigilant most of the time and certainly that helps, but even the most wary of us falls now and then.
I feel so dumb for having fallen victim to a “simulated” email from Craigslist. All I needed to do was to pay attention to the URL where I was redirected to login, it was not Craigslist! That’s all it takes too, is a moment to check your sanity (and your location) with these things. Be vigilant – everyone – if we help each other, we can keep evil from spreading. Our church’s web site was attacked and altered, and I’m still dealing with the after-effects of that attack. I’m studying up on how to “harden” the site and prevent future attacks of this type. That one will be my own personal set of ongoing study for vigilance sake for awhile.