Sunday, September 24, 2006

What do Thiefs With Yahoo! Accounts?

Well... I saw several uses for the stolen accounts:

  1. Spam - usually, everyone who has an Yahoo! account also has an Yahoo! Mail account too (with the same user name and password - if the mail service is activated), so spammers can use those accounts to send spam mails. Who will be the responsible person for that? The owner of the account of course! By the time you prove that your account was stolen, you may already be in legal trouble (some countries send spammers to jail!).
  2. Advertising - the accounts are used to spam some instant messages to all contacts in the stolon account with various links to various sites, usually to steal more accounts.
  3. Scams - I actually saw a message from one of my IM contacts asking me to deposit 1$ in her phone number account (you can do such mobile phone transfers) because she needs to make an urgent call. No indication whatsoever of the reason she does not have any credit left or why she can't put it in herself. Actually the provided phone number wasn't ever hers.

Those are only 3 of the uses of the stolen accounts. Let me know if you know others...

Some of the thieves do not reset the password to those accounts, so the owner can still use it without any indication that someone else is also using the same account. I also know persons who have lost their accounts forever.

To protect yourself, change your password at regular intervals, and if you didn't changed your password in the last 3 months, it is about time to do so!

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