Email spam from someone you know links to websites that hack your password

Filed under: Security - Jun 03 2012

Updated 8/26/14:

Over the years we’ve been contacted by dozens of clients who have had their email account hacked and sending out spam to all of their contacts. This happened shortly after clicking on a link in an abnormal email from someone they know. The website that the link opens typically shows a video while capturing email address and password credentials, then hackers log into the email account and send similar spam emails to all of their contacts.

The subject line of the emails are vague in hopes that you’ll be curious and open it. Examples include:

– Hey
– Hi
– fwd:
– re:

Some of the phrases in the body of the emails include:

– wow this is amazing look into this [link]
– this is awesome [link]
– wow can you look at this [link]
– wow this is crazy check it out [link]
– this is pretty amazing you should give it a look [link]
– [link only]

Other variants coming from the email address from someone you know include links to an unknown website that will:

– Ask you to enter your email login credentials in order to view a document or photo
– Ask you to install Java or Flash Player in order to view the website

The methods above are tricks to get you to divulge private information or to install malware on your computer.

Security reminder: Do not click on links in an email that you are not expecting or if you are not absolutely sure that the link will open a trustworthy website. If you discover that your email account has already been hacked, see our information about what to do if your email account has been hacked.

Also read about emails that appear to come from a business that you recognize.

More essential reading:

• More information about this method to hack email accounts at

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