It happens to us all – regardless of our level of savviness when it comes to online security and privacy. Even to CEO’s of security firms like Clay Johnson, CEO and Chairman of the Board for IONU Security.
In his post, My Personal Email Got Hacked!, Clay relates an all-too-common scenario, where his email account at a large free-mail site, gets hacked and misused to pump spam messages to friends and family (and strangers).
We’ve all had this happen to us – and it stems from the intersection of security and convenience. Typically bad guys will gain access to an account through brute-force password cracking – so users who use “password” or other similarly simple passwords, for ease of remembering them, are easy targets – who become victims.
Otherwise, it’s the lure of clicking links in email spam or spammy Facebook posts – human nature takes over us – when we see “OMG Lindsay Lohan Nude Pics” – too many people succumb to curiosity and click. Not only are there no “pics” at the end of the click, but the traversal to get there included a “drive-by”. Laying down malware on the users machine. That malware can do numerous things – including sending out the same spam messages to others – but also to begin “key logging” – and eventually gaining access to that users freemail (and other accounts).
It’s always much easier in this world to be a bad guy, but as users, with penchants for convenience, we make it much, much easier than it has to bel.