Posted about it in Facebook, but now, this morning, I feel that I want to write about it here too. If, for nothing else, to get it off my mind, my chest and everywhere else.
We’ve heard about all those spam attacks and hacked accounts ad nauseam.
Yesterday morning, I was sitting here as usual, had just posted here, when I noticed in my Gmail that new messages kept popping up rapidly. They were all from myself (!) and all of them were failure messages. You know, that message you get when there’s something wrong with the address … they say something like ‘Failure. Message couldn’t be delivered … yada yada’.
I had not sent any email at all that morning, so I went in and had a look at it. Got that sinking feeling when I saw that a message had been sent to everyone on my contact list. All those failure messages were from the servers that rejected the message. Apparently Yahoo.com, AOL and MSN rejected them, so hats off to them. The major Swedish provider … Telia … did not, and that’s the one that most people there have.
Quickly went in and changed my password. I had a strong password to start with, but still. Gmail has something, where you can see latest activity on your account, so I looked at that. There I saw the proof! CHINA and an IP address, two times. The first was 4 o’clock in the morning and that’s when that message was being sent out. I didn’t wakt up until 7 o’clock and there wasn’t any way I could have stopped it in any event.
Most of these messages went to peoples’ spam folders. There might however be people who opened them and even clicked on the link that was in there. I shudder when I think about it. I have no idea what would have happened if I had clicked on it.
Over the run of the day I ran two full virus scans, changed passwords everywhere. I felt violated and can understand a little better how people feel when they’ve had a burglary. People being inside your home, browsing around your stuff! All scans came up clean, and no more break-in attempts from China.
If I could get a hold of the person in China, who did this, I would slap him with a wet trout!
I must point out that this could have happened with ANY web based email account. It just so happens that Gmail is my email provider of choice. None of them is any better/more secure than the other.
After that we went out to Costco because Gerry wanted to buy to beach chairs that were on sale there. We often go out to the beach in the summer … we like to walk, and the chairs we had were so heavy! These new ones are light as feathers so that was a great find.
As usual, we took the way through the park on our way home. All the ducks were quietly gathered in one spot, out on a little road there. I was saddened to no end, when I saw one mallard dead on the ground. His neck was broken. Killed by a car.
People go there and feed them in spite of the signs … many don’t even bother to get out of their cars. The ducks know this, so when they see a car, they see food. They gather around and underneath the cars and this one evidently didn’t make it out in time.
I put a few peanuts out, in the hope of attracting a blue jay, but he didn’t show.
This one did, and one chickadee actually took of with a peanut! It was so heavy so he could hardly take off with it!
It’s a fine day today so … Happy Friday to everyone.