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#1898374 - 05/16/12 11:54 PM don't forget to change passwords from time to time....
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
After years of relative safety on the internet, I finally got hacked.

I was working on a customer's Boston grand, when I got a call from a client saying, "Hey, Dave, you got hacked. You'd better get on it and change your password!" The problem was that my internet was down while I was between services that required an exterior hardware upgrade. Then I got another call, saying the same thing. Then another, and another.

According to the e-mail the hacker sent out to all of my contacts, I was in England and had lost my wallet. Could you please send me $1800?

It went on all day. My wife tried to change my password from her work, but was unable to: my ISP had been sold a couple of times since I first opened the account, and I couldn't even access that setting.

I finally got home, got on the phone with ATT tech support and eventually was able to change the password for that account. I also managed to close the Yahoo account that the hacker was using to siphon off a day's worth of incoming mail, 2 years worth of sent mail, and all of my e-mail contacts.

Sorry if anyone here got spammed. Don't forget to change passwords once in a while.


Edited by Dave Stahl (05/16/12 11:55 PM)
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#1898390 - 05/17/12 12:41 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
You were hacked?!!! Does that mean you didn't get the money I sent to you through PayPal to England???
What did you change your password to?

grin


I hope you have it all under control again now. thumb
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1898393 - 05/17/12 12:47 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
I have an offshore account set up in Nigeria. Thanks for the cash, Jurgen.
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#1898399 - 05/17/12 01:05 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Dave Stahl
....According to the e-mail the hacker sent out to all of my contacts, I was in England and had lost my wallet. Could you please send me $1800?....

Just about exactly the same thing happened yesterday with a friend of mine -- and I was one of the people who got contacted.

Here's what the e-mail said (eerily similar to yours):

Good Morning,

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes,but i really need your help at the moment,I came down here to Mallorca Spain for a short vacation,unfortunately i got mugged at the park of the hotel i staying ,everything i had on me was stolen including,cash,credit cards and cell phone....I've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all,I need help to settle the bills and flying back home,I'll surely pay back as soon as we get back home.

Thanks
[friend's first name]



Immediately there were suspicious things about it, like the slightly-incorrect typing, which my friend wouldn't have done quite that way, even under stress, plus the capitalization of "Police" which I thought he never would have done at all. Still, if not for all the publicity about scams like this (including the warnings that have been posted by our members here from time to time), I might not have suspected enough, and even as it was, my first instant thought was that this was real. I replied, and asked if there was a phone number where I could speak to him directly. If the person did answer with a phone number, besides making sure that the person sounded like my actual friend I would have asked some things that only he would have known. But the next e-mail just said there wasn't a phone where he could be reached, and could I please immediately wire him $2500 via Western Union.

Yeah right. grin

I then did what I probably should have done right away: I called my friend's home phone number in New York, and was glad when he himself picked up the phone.

Hopefully and presumably none of your contacts got fooled to the point of sending money. I would like to think I wouldn't have, even if not for the publicity and warnings I'd seen. But I might have.

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#1898403 - 05/17/12 01:26 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Mark,

I was truly grateful for the amount of phone calls I got from clients and friends. Most of them just wanted to let me know what was going on, but some of the people were really concerned and ready to send money!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#1898419 - 05/17/12 03:05 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
Things like this cause the worst problems when people are in actual difficulty.

I could rant on this subject. But I'll summarize it as this: if you know a close family member is on vacation, and they contact you to say "HELP!!!! Call American Express's concierge service and help me find a hotel! I'll pay for it, I just need their help finding one. I'm in [this city] in [this developing country] where there's a huge international conference (which I never knew about before), every hotel is booked, no one speaks my language, the place is famous for corruption, and I've been awake for 3 days strait."
Do not, under any condition, reply "why don't you try Travelocity.com?"
It's a developing country, they don't use Travelocity, and the 2 hotels that are listed have been full for weeks and never bother to update their status. I tried that long ago.
For those that don't know, American Express's concierge service can work wonders and find hotels or rooms that otherwise don't exist. They are also very good at conveying the critical information before a cellphone battery dies.

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#1898493 - 05/17/12 08:13 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Ryan Hassell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 413
Loc: Farmington, MO
Good reminder Dave. Recently our church email got hacked. The hacker sent out pornographic pictures to the entire congregation!!!! Come to find out, our password had not been changed in 10 years and was a very simple word to figure out.

Folks, as our tech guy instructs us at my school, your password needs to contain the following: a capital letter, a symbol and a number. Even though most of us use the same password for everything, it's really not a good idea. We're instructed to have separate passwords for school and home, so if one get's hacked, the other is not in jeopardy. Just a few things to think about.
_________________________
Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
www.hassellspianotuning.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hassells-Piano-Tuning/163155880804
ryanhassell@hotmail.com

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#1898503 - 05/17/12 08:30 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Type your password into the box at the top, then hit enter to check the strength.

http://www.passwordscan.com/
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1898515 - 05/17/12 08:52 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Type your password into the box at the top, then hit enter to check the strength.

http://www.passwordscan.com/


If I were a sniffer/hacker/phisher, I would set up such a link to "test" password strength. No thanks, Dan!

edit: Think about it....a site performs a password strength test by associating the password you enter with your ip address. Don't do it!


Edited by Loren D (05/17/12 08:55 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1898523 - 05/17/12 09:09 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Someone on the internet has to have your password so as to allow you into things. How paranoid does one have to be?

Testing a password strength does not indicate you are using that password.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1898540 - 05/17/12 09:44 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
No, but trying a tested pw would be a logical place to start. Not paranoid at all, but we ARE talking security and hacking here. And after all, tricking people into entering information is how phisers operate.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1898572 - 05/17/12 10:38 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Well, don’t have any fun with the password checker if you believe everyone is out to get you.
If you have concerns about password security keep in mind these simple rules;
Change your password once a month.
Insure your password has all the components, upper/ lower case, special characters and numbers.
The last one is keystrokes. I never type them in, but use cut/paste. This way if I have a keystroke logger the characters are not read.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1898862 - 05/17/12 09:12 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
Thanks for the reminder!

On a lighter note, I have to share how ridiculous this is: at work (federal gov.), we are required to change our password every 6 months...to get into...REQUIRED local continuing education "programs".

Unbelievable! OH no, someone ELSE is trying to do my CE, yikes!
leave it to the government....oh, and the requirements for the password are UNREAL. Most of us can't get in and end up on the phone with IT, wasting time.
See how your tax dollars are spent?

ooooops, I digress, sorry.
_________________________
I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles




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#1898869 - 05/17/12 09:31 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
xkcd has the best stance on password strength:

_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1898980 - 05/18/12 02:15 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Monica K.]
Olek Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6333
Loc: France
Nice one ! I take that password !

(but many sites today ask for different characters to be used and will not accept that)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1898988 - 05/18/12 02:29 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Why would it be harder for hacker to discover my password, let's use Tr0ub4dor&3, if I have changed to it from Tr0mbo^ne%7 three months ago?

Will hackers really spend months and months working on trying to find out one lowly person's email password?
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1898994 - 05/18/12 02:48 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Olek Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6333
Loc: France
Remind me of a friend who worked in computer security for the military. The zone where missiles where hidden was so secret that no telephone was able to reach the outside normal phone net.

So he had to discuss of the computer security question in a public phone at the nearest village !!
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1898996 - 05/18/12 03:03 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20744
Loc: Oakland
It may not be your password that was hacked. Have you seen one of the emails? The return address is probably not yours.

What probably happened is that either your address book was hacked, which can happen if you keep it on a server like AOL, or that someone got addresses from a carelessly addressed email.

You should use CC sparingly. If you are sending a message to a large group, use BCC instead.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1899059 - 05/18/12 07:36 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Supply]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Supply
Why would it be harder for hacker to discover my password, let's use Tr0ub4dor&3, if I have changed to it from Tr0mbo^ne%7 three months ago?

Will hackers really spend months and months working on trying to find out one lowly person's email password?


Not at all! They just set up a password checker and lo and behold, you type it in for them. laugh
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1899061 - 05/18/12 07:38 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: BDB]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BDB
It may not be your password that was hacked. Have you seen one of the emails? The return address is probably not yours.

What probably happened is that either your address book was hacked, which can happen if you keep it on a server like AOL, or that someone got addresses from a carelessly addressed email.

You should use CC sparingly. If you are sending a message to a large group, use BCC instead.


Absolutely. Are you sure it was your account that was hacked? Lots of times, a random address from the person who was hacked's address book is put into the "from" line to throw people off. The fact that the mail is "from" you doesn't necessarily mean you're the one who was compromised.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1899657 - 05/19/12 01:15 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Whoever did this took years worth of my sent mail and e-mail contacts, leaving my "passwords" folder alone, thank goodness! They opened a bogus account that was like mine--only Yahoo instead of SBC global--and copied my signature, but putting in a non-operational phone number. I'm not sure how they could get in and do those things without getting into my account. If they didn't figure out the password, or how to bypass it, then how did they access all of these things?
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#1899673 - 05/19/12 11:01 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20744
Loc: Oakland
You can set up a phony account, fake a signature, and harvest a bunch of email addresses from a single bulk email message. No password is necessary. If you pass on internet messages to a bunch of people, you should always use BCC, not CC.

However, you should check your computer for malware, and report the fraudulent email address to Yahoo.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1900010 - 05/19/12 10:24 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: BDB]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Originally Posted By: BDB
You can set up a phony account, fake a signature, and harvest a bunch of email addresses from a single bulk email message. No password is necessary. If you pass on internet messages to a bunch of people, you should always use BCC, not CC.

However, you should check your computer for malware, and report the fraudulent email address to Yahoo.


I think that's what happened. The fraudulent address has been reported and removed. I needed to go a couple of levels deep in tech support for that one!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#1900042 - 05/19/12 11:50 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
So! It was YOU!!!

:-p
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#1900529 - 05/21/12 12:07 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
You might want to try what I do. I just each each of the Seven Dwarves from the movie Snow White as my passwords.


wink

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#1901567 - 05/22/12 11:17 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Type your password into the box at the top, then hit enter to check the strength.

http://www.passwordscan.com/

Just make sure that the password you are checking structurally is not an actual password you use. I would not trust any random person from India with my actual passwords.

For the record I`ve used a simple password for everything from 1985-2005 and never had a problem. I made them more complicated after that out of paranoia.

Kees

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#1901684 - 05/23/12 07:27 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: DoelKees]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Type your password into the box at the top, then hit enter to check the strength.

http://www.passwordscan.com/

Just make sure that the password you are checking structurally is not an actual password you use. I would not trust any random person from India with my actual passwords.


Kees


Bingo, Yahtzee!

edit: Kees, I've always been leery of those password checker sites. For one thing, they tie the password to your ip address. Not good.


Edited by Loren D (05/23/12 07:31 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1903103 - 05/25/12 06:11 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20744
Loc: Oakland
Just got a message today from someone who died about 6 months ago!
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1903112 - 05/25/12 06:31 PM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: BDB]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Just got a message today from someone who died about 6 months ago!


Really? Today is my lucky day. Turns out I'm the lone heir of a Nigerian prince. Who knew?
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1903267 - 05/26/12 12:51 AM Re: don't forget to change passwords from time to time.... [Re: Dave Stahl]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I always thought your name sounded a bit African.... Me, I'm Irish.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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